“Look up, look up!—I am here,—I am here to save thee! Wilt thou deny to me thy sweet face? Truant, wouldst thou fly me still?”
“Fly thee!” she said, at last, and in a broken voice; “oh, if my thoughts wronged thee,—oh, if my dream, that awful dream, deceived,—kneel down with me, and pray for our child!” Then springing to her feet with a sudden impulse, she caught up the infant, and, placing it in his arms, sobbed forth, with deprecating and humble tones, “Not for my sake,—not for mine, did I abandon thee, but—”
“Hush!” said Zanoni; “I know all the thoughts that thy confused and struggling senses can scarcely analyse themselves. And see how, with a look, thy child answers them!”
And in truth the face of that strange infant seemed radiant with its silent and unfathomable joy. It seemed as if it recognised the father; it clung—it forced itself to his breast, and there, nestling, turned its bright, clear eyes upon Viola, and smiled.
“Pray for my child!” said Zanoni, mournfully. “The thoughts of souls that would aspire as mine are All prayer!” And, seating himself by her side, he began to reveal to her some of the holier secrets of his lofty being. He spoke of the sublime and intense faith from which alone the diviner knowledge can arise,—the faith which, seeing the immortal everywhere, purifies and exalts the mortal that beholds, the glorious ambition that dwells not in the cabals and crimes of earth, but amidst those solemn wonders that speak not of men, but of God; of that power to abstract the soul from the clay which gives to the eye of the soul its subtle vision, and to the soul’s wing the unlimited realm; of that pure, severe, and daring initiation from which the mind emerges, as from death, into clear perceptions of its kindred with the Father-Principles of life and light, so that in its own sense of the Beautiful it finds its joy; in the serenity of its will, its power; in its sympathy with the youthfulness of the Infinite Creation, of which itself is an essence and a part, the secrets that embalm the very clay which they consecrate, and renew the strength of life with the ambrosia of mysterious and celestial sleep. And while he spoke, Viola listened, breathless. If she could not comprehend, she no longer dared to distrust. She felt that in that enthusiasm, self-deceiving or not, no fiend could lurk; and by an intuition, rather than an effort of the reason, she saw before her, like a starry ocean, the depth and mysterious beauty of the soul which her fears had wronged. Yet, when he said (concluding his strange confessions) that to this life within life and above life he had dreamed to raise her own, the fear of humanity crept over her, and he read in her silence how vain, with all his science, would the dream have been.