Zanoni eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 579 pages of information about Zanoni.

He said, and departed.


     Quel est l’egarement ou ton ame se livre? 
     La Harpe, “Le Comte de Warwick,” Act 4, sc. 4.

     (To what delusion does thy soul abandon itself?)

Alas, Zanoni! the aspirer, the dark, bright one!—­didst thou think that the bond between the survivor of ages and the daughter of a day could endure?  Didst thou not foresee that, until the ordeal was past, there could be no equality between thy wisdom and her love?  Art thou absent now seeking amidst thy solemn secrets the solemn safeguards for child and mother, and forgettest thou that the phantom that served thee hath power over its own gifts,—­over the lives it taught thee to rescue from the grave?  Dost thou not know that Fear and Distrust, once sown in the heart of Love, spring up from the seed into a forest that excludes the stars?  Dark, bright one! the hateful eyes glare beside the mother and the child!

All that day Viola was distracted by a thousand thoughts and terrors, which fled as she examined them to settle back the darklier.  She remembered that, as she had once said to Glyndon, her very childhood had been haunted with strange forebodings, that she was ordained for some preternatural doom.  She remembered that, as she had told him this, sitting by the seas that slumbered in the arms of the Bay of Naples, he, too, had acknowledged the same forebodings, and a mysterious sympathy had appeared to unite their fates.  She remembered, above all, that, comparing their entangled thoughts, both had then said, that with the first sight of Zanoni the foreboding, the instinct, had spoken to their hearts more audibly than before, whispering that “with him was connected the secret of the unconjectured life.”

And now, when Glyndon and Viola met again, the haunting fears of childhood, thus referred to, woke from their enchanted sleep.  With Glyndon’s terror she felt a sympathy, against which her reason and her love struggled in vain.  And still, when she turned her looks upon her child, it watched her with that steady, earnest eye, and its lips moved as if it sought to speak to her,—­but no sound came.  The infant refused to sleep.  Whenever she gazed upon its face, still those wakeful, watchful eyes!—­and in their earnestness, there spoke something of pain, of upbraiding, of accusation.  They chilled her as she looked.  Unable to endure, of herself, this sudden and complete revulsion of all the feelings which had hitherto made up her life, she formed the resolution natural to her land and creed; she sent for the priest who had habitually attended her at Venice, and to him she confessed, with passionate sobs and intense terror, the doubts that had broken upon her.  The good father, a worthy and pious man, but with little education and less sense, one who held (as many of the lower Italians do to this day) even a poet to be a sort of sorcerer, seemed

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Zanoni from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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