Mejnour to Zanoni.
Fallen One!—I see before thee Evil and Death and Woe! Thou to have relinquished Adon-Ai for the nameless Terror,—the heavenly stars for those fearful eyes! Thou, at the last to be the victim of the Larva of the dreary Threshold, that, in thy first novitiate, fled, withered and shrivelled, from thy kingly brow! When, at the primary grades of initiation, the pupil I took from thee on the shores of the changed Parthenope, fell senseless and cowering before that Phantom-Darkness, I knew that his spirit was not formed to front the worlds beyond; for fear is the attraction of man to earthiest earth, and while he fears, he cannot soar. But thou, seest thou not that to love is but to fear; seest thou not that the power of which thou boastest over the malignant one is already gone? It awes, it masters thee; it will mock thee and betray. Lose not a moment; come to me. If there can yet be sufficient sympathy between us, through my eyes shalt thou see, and perhaps guard against the perils that, shapeless yet, and looming through the shadow, marshal themselves around thee and those whom thy very love has doomed. Come from all the ties of thy fond humanity; they will but obscure thy vision! Come forth from thy fears and hopes, thy desires and passions. Come, as alone Mind can be the monarch and the seer, shining through the home it tenants,—a pure, impressionless, sublime intelligence!
Plus que vous ne pensez
ce moment est terrible.
La Harpe, “Le Comte de Warwick,” Act 3, sc. 5.
(The moment is more terrible than you think.)
For the first time since their union, Zanoni and Viola were separated,—Zanoni went to Rome on important business. “It was,” he said, “but for a few days;” and he went so suddenly that there was little time either for surprise or sorrow. But first parting is always more melancholy than it need be: it seems an interruption to the existence which Love shares with Love; it makes the heart feel what a void life will be when the last parting shall succeed, as succeed it must, the first. But Viola had a new companion; she was enjoying that most delicious novelty which ever renews the youth and dazzles the eyes of woman. As the mistress—the wife—she leans on another; from another are reflected her happiness, her being,—as an orb that takes light from its sun. But now, in turn, as the mother, she is raised from dependence into power; it is another that leans on her,—a star has sprung into space, to which she herself has become the sun!