Zanoni eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 579 pages of information about Zanoni.
panting, he paused an instant, and a cooler air from the river fanned his brow.  “Awhile, at least, I am safe here,” he murmured; and as he spoke, some thirty paces behind him, he beheld the spy.  He stood rooted to the spot; wearied and spent as he was, escape seemed no longer possible,—­the river on one side (no bridge at hand), and the long row of mansions closing up the other.  As he halted, he heard laughter and obscene songs from a house a little in his rear, between himself and the spy.  It was a cafe fearfully known in that quarter.  Hither often resorted the black troop of Henriot,—­the minions and huissiers of Robespierre.  The spy, then, had hunted the victim within the jaws of the hounds.  The man slowly advanced, and, pausing before the open window of the cafe, put his head through the aperture, as to address and summon forth its armed inmates.

At that very instant, and while the spy’s head was thus turned from him, standing in the half-open gateway of the house immediately before him, he perceived the stranger who had warned; the figure, scarcely distinguishable through the mantle that wrapped it, motioned to him to enter.  He sprang noiselessly through the friendly opening:  the door closed; breathlessly he followed the stranger up a flight of broad stairs and through a suite of empty rooms, until, having gained a small cabinet, his conductor doffed the large hat and the long mantle that had hitherto concealed his shape and features, and Glyndon beheld Zanoni!


     Think not my magic wonders wrought by aid
     Of Stygian angels summoned up from hell;
     Scorned and accursed be those who have essayed
     Her gloomy Dives and Afrites to compel. 
     But by perception of the secret powers
     Of mineral springs in Nature’s inmost cell,
     Of herbs in curtain of her greenest bowers,
     And of the moving stars o’er mountain tops and towers. 
     Wiffen’s “Translation of Tasso,” cant. xiv. xliii.

“You are safe here, young Englishman!” said Zanoni, motioning Glyndon to a seat.  “Fortunate for you that I come on your track at last!”

“Far happier had it been if we had never met!  Yet even in these last hours of my fate, I rejoice to look once more on the face of that ominous and mysterious being to whom I can ascribe all the sufferings I have known.  Here, then, thou shalt not palter with or elude me.  Here, before we part, thou shalt unravel to me the dark enigma, if not of thy life, of my own!”

“Hast thou suffered?  Poor neophyte!” said Zanoni, pityingly.  “Yes; I see it on thy brow.  But wherefore wouldst thou blame me?  Did I not warn thee against the whispers of thy spirit; did I not warn thee to forbear?  Did I not tell thee that the ordeal was one of awful hazard and tremendous fears,—­nay, did I not offer to resign to thee the heart that was mighty enough, while mine, Glyndon, to content me?  Was it not thine own daring and resolute choice to brave the initiation!  Of thine own free will didst thou make Mejnour thy master, and his lore thy study!”

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Zanoni from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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