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   Chapter 6 No.6

Zicci, Complete By Edward Bulwer-Lytton Characters: 2550

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03

Glyndon thought seriously and deeply over all that the mysterious Zicci had said to him relative to Isabel. His imagination was inflamed by the vague and splendid promises that were connected with his marriage with the poor actress. His fears, too, were naturally aroused by the threat that by marriage alone could he save himself from the rivalry of Zicci,-Zicci, born to dazzle and command; Zicci, who united to the apparent wealth of a monarch the beauty of a god; Zicci, whose eye seemed to foresee, whose hand to frustrate, every danger. What a rival, and what a foe!

But Glyndon's pride, as well as jealousy, was aroused. He was brave comme son epee. Should he shrink from the power or the enmity of a man mortal as himself? And why should Zicci desire him to give his name and station to one of a calling so equivocal? Might there not be motives he could not fathom? Might not the actress and the Corsican be in league with each other? Might not all this jargon of prophecy-and menace be but artifices to dupe him,-the tool, perhaps, of a mountebank and his mistress! Mistress,-ah, no! If ever maidenhood wrote its modest characters externally, that pure eye, that noble forehead, that mien and manner so ingenuous even in their coquetry, their pride, assured him t

hat Isabel was not the base and guilty thing he had dared for a moment to suspect her. Lost in a labyrinth of doubts and surmises, Glyndon turned on the practical sense of the sober Merton to assist and enlighten him.

As may be well supposed, his friend listened to his account of his interview with Zicci with a half-suppressed and ironical smile.

"Excellent, my dear friend! This Zicci is another Apollonius of Tyana,-nothing less will satisfy you. What! is it possible that you are the Clarence Glyndon of whose career such glowing hopes are entertained,-you the man whose genius has been extolled by all the graybeards? Not a boy turned out from a village school but would laugh you to scorn. And so because Signor Zicci tells you that you will be a marvellously great man if you revolt all your friends and blight all your prospects by marrying a Neapolitan actress, you begin already to think of-By Jupiter! I cannot talk patiently on the subject. Let the girl alone,-that would be the proper plan; or else-"

"You talk very sensibly," interrupted Glyndon, "but you distract me. I will go to Isabel's house; I will see her; I will judge for myself."

"That is certainly the best way to forget her," said Merton. Glyndon seized his hat and sword, and was gone.

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