My agent, the purely nominal publisher of my three operas Rienzi, the Fliegender Hollander, and Tannhauser the eccentric court music publisher, C. F. Meser, invited me one day to the cafe known as the 'Verderber' to discuss our money affairs. With great qualms we talked over the possible results of the Annual Easter Fair, and wondered whether they would be tolerably good or altogether bad.
On the other hand, I experienced the small satisfaction of hearing the news that two performances of my Rienzi had taken place in Berlin, for the success of which Conductor Taubert, as he informed me himself, thought he had won some credit on account of the extremely effective combinations he had arranged.
"What I desire," continued Rienzi, fixing his searching eyes upon Montreal, "is, that, in the meanwhile, we should preserve a profound calm, we should remove every suspicion. I shall bury myself in my studies, and convoke no more meetings." "Well "
"Must this insolence be endured!" whispered the Signora Frangipani to the Signora Malatesta. "Hush, hush; if ever it be our day again!" It was later that day than usual, when Rienzi returned from his tribunal to the apartments of the palace.
All fantastic dreams of another Rienzi and a huge popular success had long since melted away: the creative instinct in Wagner was master of the situation; never again did he plan anything to please the public, save, comical to relate, when he began on the story of Tristan.
Some few days after the date of the last chapter, Rienzi received news from Rome, which seemed to produce in him a joyous and elated excitement. His troops still lay before Palestrina, and still the banners of the Barons waved over its unconquered walls.
After paying the necessary business visits in connection with Rienzi, and making arrangements for Minna during my brief absence, I set out on 15th April direct for Leipzig, where I saw my mother and family for the first time in six years. During this period, which had been so eventful for my own life, my mother had undergone a great change in her domestic position through the death of Rosalie.
The state of Rome, aggravated by the absence of the Pope, was miserable in the extreme. The citizens "were equally oppressed by the arrogance of the nobles and the corruption of the magistrates." Rienzi recalled to their recollection "the ancient glories of the Senate and people from whom all legal authority was derived.
As in that silent and dreary place, these two, the only tenants of the street, now encountered, Adrian stopped abruptly, and said in a startled and doubting voice: "Do I dream still, or do I behold Rienzi?"
Rienzi in this, and, perhaps, in forgiveness itself, committed a fatal error of policy, which the dark sagacity of a Visconti, or, in later times, of a Borgia, would never have perpetrated. But it was the error of a bright and a great mind. Nina was seated in the grand saloon of the palace it was the day of reception for the Roman ladies.