Against the backdrop of the Bourbon Restoration, Lombard aristocrat Fulvio Imbriani, a former political extremist who once served under Napoleon, is finally released from an Austrian jail, after a lengthy sentence for his part in the secret Sublime Brotherhood. He strives to resume normal family life, but his Hungarian lover, Charlotte, together with his ex-comrades, succeeds in convincing him to take part in a revolutionary cause in the south. In fact, Fulvio considers the effort futile and fails to stop his sister Esther from reporting the conspirators. But the trap fails to catch the intended prey and, evading arrest, the comrades meet and bury Charlotte, who was killed in an exchange of fire with the gendarmerie.
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