Rienzi: The Last of the Roman Tribunes

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

crush him with honours. He must be no longer Tribune of the People. Give him the Patrician title of Senator, and he is then the Lieutenant of the Pope!"

"I will see to this, my son -- your suggestions please, but alarm me: he shall at least be examined; -- but if found a heretic -- "

"Should, I humbly advise, be declared a saint."

The Pope bent his brow for a moment, but the effort was too much for him, and after a moment's struggle, he fairly laughed aloud.

"Go to, my son," said he, affectionately patting the Cardinal's sallow cheek. Go to. -- If the world heard thee, what would it say?

"That Giles d'Albornoz had just enough religion to remember that the State is a Church, but not too much to forget that the Church is a State."

With these words the conference ended. That very evening the Pope decreed that Rienzi should be permitted the trial he had demanded.


CHAPTER IV
THE LADY AND THE PAGE

It wanted three hours of midnight, when Albornoz, resuming his character of gallant, despatched to the Signora Cesarini the following billet.

"Your commands are obeyed. Rienzi will receive an examination on his faith. It is well that he should be prepared. It may suit your purpose, as to which I am so faintly enlightened, to appear to the prisoner what you are -- the obtainer of this grace. See how implicitly one noble heart can trust another! I send

-445-

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