Rienzi: The Last of the Roman Tribunes

By Edward Bulwer Lytton; L. W. Zeigler | Go to book overview

tween hate and hate, -- until exhaustion, sick with horrors, succeeds to frenzy, and despotism is welcomed as repose!


CHAPTER IV
THE HOLLOWNESS OF THE BASE

The rapid and busy march of state events has led us long away from the sister of the Tribune and the betrothed of Adrian. And the sweet thoughts and gentle day-dreams of that fair and enamoured girl, however full to her of an interest beyond all the storms and perils of ambition, are not so readily adapted to narration : -- their soft monotony a few words can paint. They knew but one image, they tended to but one prospect. Shrinking from the glare of her brother's court, and eclipsed, when she forced herself to appear, by the more matured and dazzling beauty and all- commanding presence, of Nina, -- to her the pomp and crowd seemed an unreal pageant, from which she retired to the truth of life, -- the hopes and musings of her own heart. Poor girl! with all the soft and tender nature of her dead brother, and none of the stern genius and the prodigal ambition, -- the eye-fatiguing ostentation and fervour of the living -- she was but ill- fitted for the unquiet but splendid region to which she was thus suddenly transferred.

With all her affection for Rienzi, she could not conquer a certain fear which, conjoined with the difference of sex and age, forbade her to be communicative with him upon the subject most upon her heart.

As the absence of Adrian at the Neapolitan Court passed the anticipated date (for at no Court then, with

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