Rienzi: The Last of the Roman Tribunes

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

CHAPTER IV
THE AMBITIOUS CITIZEN, AND THE AMBITIOUS SOLDIER

The Bishop of Orvietto lingered last, to confer with Rienzi, who awaited him in the recesses of the Lateran. Raimond had the penetration not to be seduced into believing that the late scene could effect any reformation amongst the nobles, heal their divisions, or lead them actively against the infestors of the Campagna. But, as he detailed to Rienzi all that had occurred subsequent to the departure of that hero of the scene, he concluded with saying: --

"You will perceive from this, one good result will be produced: the first armed dissension -- the first fray among the nobles -- will seem like a breach of promise; and, to the people and to the Pope, a reasonable excuse for despairing of all amendment amongst the Barons, -- an excuse which will sanction the efforts of the first, and the approval of the last."

"For such a fray we shall not long wait," answered Rienzi.

"I believe the prophecy," answered Raimond, smiling; "at present all runs well. Go you with us homeward?"

"Nay, I think it better to tarry here till the crowd is entirely dispersed; for if they were to see me, in their present excitement, they might insist on some rash and hasty enterprise. Besides, my Lord," added Rienzi, "with an ignorant people, however honest and enthusiastic, this rule must be rigidly observed -- stale not your presence by custom. Never may men like me, who have no external rank, appear amongst the

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