any friend to name?" said the Senator, smiling, "Methinks thy cavils point that way."
"My Lord," replied Villani, colouring; "I am too young, perhaps; but the post is one that demands fidelity more than it does years. Shall I own it? -- My tastes are rather to serve thee with my sword than with my pen."
"Wilt thou, indeed, accept the office? It is of less dignity and emolument than the one you hold; and you are full young to lead these stubborn spirits."
"Senator, I led taller men than they are to the assault at Viterbo. But, be it as seems best to your superior wisdom. Whatever you do, I pray you to be cautious. If you select a traitor to the command of the Capitol Guard! -- I tremble at the thought!"
"By my faith, thou dost turn pale at it, dear boy; thy affection is a sweet drop in a bitter draught. Whom can I choose better than thee? -- thou shalt have the post, at least during Bellini's illness. I will attend to it to-day. The business, too, will less fatigue thy young mind than that which now employs thee. Thou art over-laboured in our cause."
"Senator, I can but repeat my usual answer -- I have a great trust to fulfil!"
These formidable conspiracies quelled, the Barons nearly subdued, and three parts of the Papal territory reunited to Rome, Rienzi now deemed he might safely execute one of his favourite projects for the preserva-