Zanoni eBook

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

“No, it may not be!” she said, rising, but not conscious of the thoughts, half of shame, half suspicion, that passed through the mind of her lover.  “Leave me, and forget me.  You do not understand, you could not comprehend, the nature of her whom you think to love.  From my childhood upward, I have felt as if I were marked out for some strange and preternatural doom; as if I were singled from my kind.  This feeling (and, oh! at times it is one of delirious and vague delight, at others of the darkest gloom) deepens within me day by day.  It is like the shadow of twilight, spreading slowly and solemnly around.  My hour approaches:  a little while, and it will be night!”

As she spoke, Glyndon listened with visible emotion and perturbation.  “Viola!” he exclaimed, as she ceased, “your words more than ever enchain me to you.  As you feel, I feel.  I, too, have been ever haunted with a chill and unearthly foreboding.  Amidst the crowds of men I have felt alone.  In all my pleasures, my toils, my pursuits, a warning voice has murmured in my ear, ‘Time has a dark mystery in store for thy manhood.’  When you spoke, it was as the voice of my own soul.”

Viola gazed upon him in wonder and fear.  Her countenance was as white as marble; and those features, so divine in their rare symmetry, might have served the Greek with a study for the Pythoness, when, from the mystic cavern and the bubbling spring, she first hears the voice of the inspiring god.  Gradually the rigour and tension of that wonderful face relaxed, the colour returned, the pulse beat:  the heart animated the frame.

“Tell me,” she said, turning partially aside,—­“tell me, have you seen—­do you know—­a stranger in this city,—­one of whom wild stories are afloat?”

“You speak of Zanoni?  I have seen him:  I know him,—­and you?  Ah, he, too, would be my rival!—­he, too, would bear thee from me!”

“You err,” said Viola, hastily, and with a deep sigh; “he pleads for you:  he informed me of your love; he besought me not—­not to reject it.”

“Strange being! incomprehensible enigma!  Why did you name him?”

“Why! ah, I would have asked whether, when you first saw him, the foreboding, the instinct, of which you spoke, came on you more fearfully, more intelligibly than before; whether you felt at once repelled from him, yet attracted towards him; whether you felt,” and the actress spoke with hurried animation, “that with him was connected the secret of your life?”

“All this I felt,” answered Glyndon, in a trembling voice, “the first time I was in his presence.  Though all around me was gay,—­music, amidst lamp-lit trees, light converse near, and heaven without a cloud above,—­my knees knocked together, my hair bristled, and my blood curdled like ice.  Since then he has divided my thoughts with thee.”

Project Gutenberg
Zanoni from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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