Zanoni eBook

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

As the dreamer looked, and shivered, she beheld that even there the two phantoms of humanity were not alone.  Dim monster-forms that that disordered chaos alone could engender, the first reptile Colossal race that wreathe and crawl through the earliest stratum of a world labouring into life, coiled in the oozing matter or hovered through the meteorous vapours.  But these the two seekers seemed not to heed; their gaze was fixed intent upon an object in the farthest space.  With the eyes of the spirit, Viola followed theirs; with a terror far greater than the chaos and its hideous inhabitants produced, she beheld a shadowy likeness of the very room in which her form yet dwelt, its white walls, the moonshine sleeping on its floor, its open casement, with the quiet roofs and domes of Venice looming over the sea that sighed below,—­and in that room the ghost-like image of herself!  This double phantom—­here herself a phantom, gazing there upon a phantom-self—­had in it a horror which no words can tell, no length of life forego.

But presently she saw this image of herself rise slowly, leave the room with its noiseless feet:  it passes the corridor, it kneels by a cradle!  Heaven of Heaven!  She beholds her child!—­still with its wondrous, child-like beauty and its silent, wakeful eyes.  But beside that cradle there sits cowering a mantled, shadowy form,—­the more fearful and ghastly from its indistinct and unsubstantial gloom.  The walls of that chamber seem to open as the scene of a theatre.  A grim dungeon; streets through which pour shadowy crowds; wrath and hatred, and the aspect of demons in their ghastly visages; a place of death; a murderous instrument; a shamble-house of human flesh; herself; her child;—­all, all, rapid phantasmagoria, chased each other.  Suddenly the phantom-Zanoni turned, it seemed to perceive herself,—­her second self.  It sprang towards her; her spirit could bear no more.  She shrieked, she woke.  She found that in truth she had left that dismal chamber; the cradle was before her, the child! all—­all as that trance had seen it; and, vanishing into air, even that dark, formless Thing!

“My child! my child! thy mother shall save thee yet!”


     Qui?  Toi m’abandonner!  Ou vas-tu?  Non! demeure,
     La Harpe, “Le Comte de Warwick,” Act 3, sc. 5.

     (Who?  Thou abandon me!—­where goest thou?  No! stay, stay!)

Letter from Viola to Zanoni.

“It has come to this!—­I am the first to part!  I, the unfaithful one, bid thee farewell forever.  When thine eyes fall upon this writing thou wilt know me as one of the dead.  For thou that wert, and still art my life,—­I am lost to thee!  O lover!  O husband!  O still worshipped and adored! if thou hast ever loved me, if thou canst still pity, seek not to discover the steps that fly thee.  If thy charms can detect

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Zanoni from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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