Rienzi: The Last of the Roman Tribunes

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

BOOK V
THE CRISIS

Questo ha acceso 'l fuoco e la fiamma laquale non la par spotegnere. -- Vit. di Col. di Rienzi, lib. i. cap. 29.

"He has kindled fire and flames which he will not be able to extinguish." -- Life of Cola di Rienzi.


CHAPTER I
THE JUDGMENT OF THE TRIBUNE

The brief words of the Tribune to Stephen Colonna, though they sharpened the rage of the proud old noble, were such as he did not on reflection deem it prudent to disobey. Accordingly, at the appointed hour, he found himself in one of the halls of the Capitol, with a gallant party of his peers. Rienzi received them with more than his usual graciousness.

They sate down to the splendid board in secret uneasiness and alarm, as they saw that, with the exception of Stephen Colonna, none, save the conspirators, had been invited to the banquet. Rienzi, regardless of their silence and abstraction, was more than usually gay -- the old Colonna more than usually sullen.

"We fear we have but ill pleased you, my Lord Colonna, by our summons. Once, methinks, we might more easily provoke you to a smile."

"Situations are changed, Tribune, since you were my guest."

-312-

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