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A sight of the worn brown cover of Bulwer Lytton's Zanoni--I think my copy is the second edition for it is dated 1853--brings back to me strange yet delightful memories. With what eagerness did I first peruse its quaint double-columned pages! How it opened a new and eerie world for me, a stripling yet at school! It gave me dark brooding ambitions. I, too, would take to the path of the Rosicrucian neophyte and strive to fling aside the heavy curtain which hides the occult spheres from mortal gaze. I could not keep this newborn enthusiasm to myself but was compelled to attempt to communicate it to a vivacious lady I knew, whereat she recoiled in philistinic horror and threatened to have nothing further to do with me if I persisted in trying to become a wizard. Alas! she kept her threat; we began to drift apart and many years ago she came to bid me a final adieu before putting a vast ocean and a great continent between us forever.


-- Notebooks Category 12: Reflections > Chapter 6: The Profane and The Profound > # 202






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