aid of which a life of rapine and revenge had corrupted a nature originally full no less of the mercy than the courage of Provençal chivalry.
Such was the fearful man who now (the wildness of his youth sobered, and his ambition hardened and concentered) was the rival with Rienzi for the mastery of Rome.
THE CROWD. -- THE TRIAL. -- THE VERDICT. -- THE SOLDIER AND THE PAGE
It was on the following evening that a considerable crowd had gathered in the streets of Avignon. It was the second day of the examination of Rienzi, and with every moment was expected the announcement of the verdict. Amongst the foreigners of all countries assembled in that seat of the Papal splendour, the interest was intense. The Italians, even of the highest rank, were in favour of the Tribune, the French against him. As for the good townspeople of Avignon themselves, they felt but little excitement in anything that did not bring money into their pockets; and if it had been put to the secret vote, no doubt there would have been a vast majority for burning the prisoner, as a marketable speculation!
Amongst the crowd was a tall man in a plain and rusty suit of armour, but with an air of knightly bearing, which somewhat belied the coarseness of his mail; he wore no helmet, but a small morion of black leather, with a long projecting shade, much used by wayfarers in the hot climates of the south. A black patch covered nearly the whole of one cheek, and altogether