Zanoni eBook

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

“On my oath and my wrongs and my mountain blood!”

“Enough! get thy hat and mantle, and follow me.”

As Fillide left the room, Nicot’s eyes again rested on the gold; it was much,—­much more than he had dared to hope for; and as he peered into the well and opened the drawers, he perceived a packet of letters in the well-known hand of Camille Desmoulins.  He seized—­he opened the packet; his looks brightened as he glanced over a few sentences.  “This would give fifty Glyndons to the guillotine!” he muttered, and thrust the packet into his bosom.

O artist!—­O haunted one!—­O erring genius!—­behold the two worst foes,—­the False Ideal that knows no God, and the False Love that burns from the corruption of the senses, and takes no lustre from the soul!

CHAPTER 7.III.

     Liebe sonnt das Reich der Nacht. 
     “Der Triumph der Liebe.”

     (Love illumes the realm of Night.)

Letter from Zanoni to Mejnour.

Paris.

Dost thou remember in the old time, when the Beautiful yet dwelt in Greece, how we two, in the vast Athenian Theatre, witnessed the birth of Words as undying as ourselves?  Dost thou remember the thrill of terror that ran through that mighty audience, when the wild Cassandra burst from her awful silence to shriek to her relentless god!  How ghastly, at the entrance of the House of Atreus, about to become her tomb, rang out her exclamations of foreboding woe:  “Dwelling abhorred of heaven!—­human shamble-house and floor blood-bespattered!” (Aesch.  “Agam.” 1098.) Dost thou remember how, amidst the breathless awe of those assembled thousands, I drew close to thee, and whispered, “Verily, no prophet like the poet!  This scene of fabled horror comes to me as a dream, shadowing forth some likeness in my own remoter future!” As I enter this slaughter-house that scene returns to me, and I hearken to the voice of Cassandra ringing in my ears.  A solemn and warning dread gathers round me, as if I too were come to find a grave, and “the Net of Hades” had already entangled me in its web!  What dark treasure-houses of vicissitude and woe are our memories become!  What our lives, but the chronicles of unrelenting death!  It seems to me as yesterday when I stood in the streets of this city of the Gaul, as they shone with plumed chivalry, and the air rustled with silken braveries.  Young Louis, the monarch and the lover, was victor of the Tournament at the Carousel; and all France felt herself splendid in the splendour of her gorgeous chief!  Now there is neither throne nor altar; and what is in their stead?  I see it yonder—­the guillotine!  It is dismal to stand amidst the ruins of mouldering cities, to startle the serpent and the lizard amidst the wrecks of Persepolis and Thebes; but more dismal still to stand as I—­the stranger from Empires that have ceased to be—­stand now amidst the yet ghastlier ruins of Law and Order, the shattering

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Zanoni from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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