Zanoni eBook

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

The signor was at home, and Glyndon was admitted into a lofty saloon, where in a few moments Zanoni joined him.

“I am come to thank you for your warning last night,” said he, “and to entreat you to complete my obligation by informing me of the quarter to which I may look for enmity and peril.”

“You are a gallant,” said Zanoni, with a smile, and in the English language, “and do you know so little of the South as not to be aware that gallants have always rivals?”

“Are you serious?” said Glyndon, colouring.

“Most serious.  You love Viola Pisani; you have for rival one of the most powerful and relentless of the Neapolitan princes.  Your danger is indeed great.”

“But pardon me!—­how came it known to you?”

“I give no account of myself to mortal man,” replied Zanoni, haughtily; “and to me it matters nothing whether you regard or scorn my warning.”

“Well, if I may not question you, be it so; but at least advise me what to do.”

“Would you follow my advice?”

“Why not?”

“Because you are constitutionally brave; you are fond of excitement and mystery; you like to be the hero of a romance.  Were I to advise you to leave Naples, would you do so while Naples contains a foe to confront or a mistress to pursue?”

“You are right,” said the young Englishman, with energy.  “No! and you cannot reproach me for such a resolution.”

“But there is another course left to you:  do you love Viola Pisani truly and fervently?—­if so, marry her, and take a bride to your native land.”

“Nay,” answered Glyndon, embarrassed; “Viola is not of my rank.  Her profession, too, is—­in short, I am enslaved by her beauty, but I cannot wed her.”

Zanoni frowned.

“Your love, then, is but selfish lust, and I advise you to your own happiness no more.  Young man, Destiny is less inexorable than it appears.  The resources of the great Ruler of the Universe are not so scanty and so stern as to deny to men the divine privilege of Free Will; all of us can carve out our own way, and God can make our very contradictions harmonise with His solemn ends.  You have before you an option.  Honourable and generous love may even now work out your happiness, and effect your escape; a frantic and selfish passion will but lead you to misery and doom.”

“Do you pretend, then, to read the future?”

“I have said all that it pleases me to utter.”

“While you assume the moralist to me, Signor Zanoni,” said Glyndon, with a smile, “are you yourself so indifferent to youth and beauty as to act the stoic to its allurements?”

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Zanoni from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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