The news utterly roused Adrian from his dreaming life. Irene was then in the condition his letter dared to picture -- severed from her brother, fallen from her rank, desolate and friendless. "Now," said the generous and high-hearted lover, "she may be mine without a disgrace to my name. Whatever Rienzi's faults, she is not implicated in them. Her hands are not red with my kinsman's blood; nor can men say that Adrian di Castello allies himself with a House whose power is built upon the ruins of the Colonnas. The Colonna are restored -- again triumphant -- Rienzi is nothing -- distress and misfortune unite me at once to her on whom they fall!"
But how were these romantic resolutions to be executed -- Irene's dwelling-place unknown? He resolved himself to repair to Rome and make the necessary inquiries: accordingly he summoned his retainers: -- blithe tidings to them, those of travel! The mail left the armoury -- the banner the hall -- and after two days of animated bustle, the fountain by which Adrian had passed so many hours of reverie was haunted only by the birds of the returning spring; and the nightly lamp no longer cast its solitary ray from his turret chamber over the bosom of the deserted lake.
It was a bright, oppressive, sultry morning, when a solitary horseman was seen winding that unequalled road, from whose height, amidst fig-trees, vines, and olives, the traveller beholds gradually break upon his