Part 10 out of 11
upon it now that we two shall remain yet a long while together, and
that, since we are going to have peace in the country, we shall rule
together in tranquillity and harmony. There, take the paper now to
your room, and read it attentively, that you may become thoroughly
familiar with it; above all things, do not forget the secret
articles, for you know they are always the most important of all.
Pray return to me in an hour from now; we will then work together."
"Sire, I shall be here punctually," said Count Metternich, bowing
deeply, and walking backward to the door.
"I believe he WILL be here punctually," said the emperor, smiling,
after Metternich had left the room. "He is afraid, if he should not
be promptly at my door, it might never open to him again. I want
them all to feel that I am their master and emperor--I alone! Now I
am through with Metternich, and it is my brother's turn. I will give
him to-day a lesson which he will not forget all his life long."
The emperor rang the bell. "Has my brother, the Archduke John, not
yet arrived?" he asked the footman who entered the room.
"Your majesty, the archduke has just arrived, and is waiting for
"I request my brother to come to me immediately," said the emperor.
After the footman had glided noiselessly out of the room, Francis
walked repeatedly up and down, and his face assumed a gloomy
expression. "He shall learn now that I am his master," he murmured;
"I will break his haughty spirit, and humiliate him so deeply that
he will never think any more of plotting against me."
At this moment the door opened, and the Archduke John, whom the
footman announced, entered the room. He looked pale and sad; the
last months, full of care and grief, had gnawed deeply into his
soul, and deprived his eyes of their fire, and his form of its
The emperor saw it, and a sardonic smile illuminated for a moment
his features, which, however, quickly resumed their gloomy
expression. "Ah, brother," exclaimed the emperor, greeting the
archduke with a slight nod of his head, "we have not seen each other
for a long time; hence, I sent for you. I wish to communicate
important news to you. The war is at an end. I have concluded peace
with the Emperor of the French."
"Peace?" asked John, incredulously. "Your majesty condescends to
jest, and that is a good symptom of your majesty's excellent
"I never jest with you," said the emperor, dryly. "I tell you in
dead earnest, I have concluded peace with Napoleon. Austria loses a
great deal by this peace; she cedes one-third of her territory, and
pays, moreover, besides the contributions imposed heretofore, the
sum of eighty-six millions of franc." [Footnote: Napoleon signed the
treaty of Schoenbrunn on the 14th of October 1809.]
"But what of the Tyrol?" asked John. "I am sure your majesty will
keep the faithful Tyrol?"
"No," said Francis, looking his brother full in the face, "the Tyrol
will be divided; one part of it will be restored to Bavaria; the
other part will be given to the Viceroy of Italy, and become a
province of French Italy."
"That is impossible!" cried John, in dismay; "that cannot be your
"And why not? Why is it impossible?" asked the emperor, sternly.
"Your majesty," said John, facing his brother boldly, "you pledged
your word to the Tyrolese solemnly, in the face of God and the whole
world, that you would not conclude a peace which would separate the
Tyrol from your monarchy."
"Ah, you dare to remind me of it?" cried Francis, in a threatening
"Yes, I do," said John, vehemently; "and I have a right to do so,
for it is I who pledged my honor that the imperial promise would be
redeemed. It was I who stirred up the insurrection of the Tyrolese,
who repeated the promises of their beloved emperor to them; it was I
who called upon them in the emperor's name to organize a conspiracy
and rebellion, and who induced them to draw the sword and fight for
their liberty. Your majesty, thousands of the noblest Tyrolese have
lost their lives in this contest; thousands lie wounded and in great
pain; the soil of the Tyrol, formerly so tranquil and peaceful, is
reeking yet with gore; the fields are not cultivated; where
prosperity formerly reigned, there is now distress and starvation;
where peace and tranquillity prevailed, there rages an insurrection;
where merry and happy people used to live, and where nothing was
heard formerly but the ringing notes of the Ranz des Vaches and the
merry Jodlers of the herdsmen, there are to be seen now only pale,
mournful invalids, tottering along painfully, and nothing is heard
but the booming of artillery and the lamentations of the
impoverished and starving mountaineers. And yet, despite all their
disasters and privations, the faithful Tyrolese stand firm, for
their hearts are full of hope and love for their emperor. They
risked all in order to become Austrians again; and even now, when
the deplorable armistice has compelled your troops to sheathe their
swords, the faithful and confiding Tyrolese continue their struggle
for their emperor and the liberty of their beloved country. All
Europe gazes with astonishment and admiration upon this heroic
people, which alone is yet courageous enough to resist the French
despot, which alone does not yet bow to his decrees, and still draws
its sword against him, while all Europe is crouching before him in
the dust. Oh, your majesty cannot and will not abandon this faithful
people, which loves you and believes in you. It would be high
treason to think your majesty capable of such a step, for you
pledged your word to the Tyrolese, and never will an Emperor of
Austria break his word and incur the disgrace of perjuring himself."
The emperor uttered a cry of rage, and, entirely forgetful of his
assumed calmness, rushed upon the archduke with flashing eyes and
"You dare to insult me!" he cried. "You are impudent enough to
charge me with perjury! You--"
The archduke on seeing his brother so close before him, furious and
with clinched fist, started back a few steps. "Your majesty," he
said, "I am sure you do not intend to insult your brother. Pray take
your hand away, for if it should touch my face, my forehead, I
should be obliged to forget that you are the emperor, that you are
my brother, and should demand satisfaction of you."
"The emperor would not give satisfaction to a rebel," said Francis,
dropping his arm slowly; "he would crush the rebel by a word, and
deliver the traitor into the hands of his judges."
"Well, then, do so," exclaimed John; "punish me, let me expiate with
my blood the boldness with which I reminded you of the sacred
promise which you gave to the Tyrolese. But do not forget your word;
do not abandon the faithful Tyrol; do not destroy the only hope of
these honest, innocent children of nature, who confide so touchingly
in their emperor! Oh, your majesty, let us both forget the vehement
words which anger and grief caused us to utter just now! I implore
your majesty's forgiveness--I confess that I sinned grievously
against my emperor. But now have mercy in your turn! See, I bow to
you, I kneel down before you, and implore you, by your imperial
honor and in the name of the Tyrol, do not abandon the Tyrol and its
commander-in-chief, Andreas Hofer, and do not forget your solemn
promise that you would never consent to a treaty of peace that would
not forever incorporate the Tyrol with your states. You want to make
peace with Napoleon; but the treaty has not been proclaimed yet, the
world does not know of it yet, and it is still possible for your
majesty to break off the negotiations. Oh, do so, your majesty;
redeem the word you pledged to the Tyrol, and do not conclude a
peace which will not indissolubly unite the Tyrol with your
monarchy. Permit the Tyrolese at least to conquer their liberty once
more, and, after they have done so, protect it. Send me to the
Tyrol, permit me to place myself at the head of the brave
mountaineers, and you shall see that the Tyrolese will rise as one
man and fight with the courage of lions. Oh, your majesty, send me
to the Tyrol, that the Tyrolese and the whole world may learn that
the emperor of Austria keeps his word and does not abandon them, and
that he sends his own brother to them in order to tell them that he
will not consent to any peace which will not incorporate their
country with Austria!"
The emperor burst into loud and scornful laughter. "Ah, you are very
shrewd, brother," he said; "you think I myself should give you
permission to go to the Tyrol and play there, with redoubled
splendor, your part as savior and liberator of the province. You
think I am ignorant of your nice little plan, and do not know why
you wish to go to the Tyrol, and what intentions you entertain in
regard to it. Yes, sir, I know all! I am aware of your plans. I know
that you are a revolutionist and rebel. You wanted to make yourself
sovereign of the Tyrol. That is the reason why you incited the
people to rebellion, and intrigued and plotted until the poor
peaceable peasants became insurgents and rebels against their
Bavarian king, and unfurled the banner of blood with frantic
fanaticism. You say thousands have fallen in the Tyrol in the
struggle for liberty; you say thousands lie wounded on the gory soil
of their native country; that prosperity has disappeared, and
poverty and starvation reign in the Tyrol? Well, then, all this is
your work; it is your fault. You stirred up the insurrection, and
committed the heavy crime of inciting a people to revolution. The
Tyrol belonged to Bavaria; the Tyrolese were subjects of the King of
Bavaria; nothing gave them the right to shake off the rule of their
king and choose another sovereign. And you think I should be so weak
as to approve of the bad example set by the Tyrolese, and encourage
the crimes committed by the revolutionists? You think I should
sanction your work and consecrate your traitorous schemes by
permitting you to go to the Tyrol in order to preach insurrection
once more, make yourself sovereign of the Tyrol, come to an
understanding with M. Bonaparte, and be recognized and confirmed by
him as Duke of Tyrol?"
"Brother," cried John, in dismay, "I--"
"Hush," interrupted the emperor, imperiously; "no one has a right to
say a word when I am speaking. I am not speaking to you as your
brother, but as your emperor. And as your emperor, I tell you now,
you will not go to the Tyrol, you will not dare to cross again the
frontiers of the Tyrol without my permission; and I promise you that
you will have to wait a long while for this permission. And as your
emperor I order you further to inform the Tyrolese that I have
concluded peace with France, and to call upon them to lay down their
arms and submit to their fate."
"Your majesty, never, never will I do that!" cried John.
"Oh, you think the good Tyrolese would then begin to doubt the
honesty of their adored archduke and withdraw from him their love,
which was to erect a throne for him?"
"No, your majesty," said John, looking him full in the face; "I mean
that I have pledged my word to protect the Tyrolese, and help and
succor them in their struggle for liberty and for their emperor, and
that I will not incur the disgrace of having cheated a whole people
and abused their confidence and love in the most revolting manner."
"Oh, you want to intimate to me once more that I have done so--that
I have abused the confidence and love of the Tyrolese in a revolting
manner?" asked the emperor, with a freezing smile. "No matter, keep
your opinion; but you shall surely obey me, and do it at once in my
presence. Seat yourself at my writing-table yonder. You are a
scholar, and know how to wield the pen quickly and skilfully. Write,
therefore. Inform the faithful Tyrolese that peace has been
concluded; order them to lay down their arms and submit obediently
to their new master."
"I cannot, brother," cried John, mournfully. "Have mercy upon me! I
cannot deliver a whole people to the executioner's axe. For, if you
withdraw your hand from the Tyrol, if you surrender it to the tender
mercies of the Bavarians and French, they will wreak a fearful
revenge on the Tyrolese for all the defeats and humiliations which
the heroic mountaineers have made them undergo."
"That will deter the mountaineers from entering into any more
conspiracies and revolutions, and teach them to be patient and
submissive; and they will thereby become an awful example to my own
subjects. Do not disobey me any longer. Seat yourself and write,
"No," cried John, vehemently, "your majesty may punish me as a
rebel, take my life, or sentence me to everlasting imprisonment, but
I cannot obey! I cannot write such a proclamation!"
"I shall not punish you as a rebel," said the emperor, shrugging his
shoulders; "I shall not take your life, I shall not sentence you to
everlasting imprisonment; but I will withdraw my hand entirely from
the Tyrol. I will not, as I had resolved and stipulated expressly,
give the fugitive Tyrolese, if they should succeed in crossing the
frontier, an asylum here in Austria, and protect them to the best of
my power; but I will deliver them as escaped criminals to their
legitimate sovereigns, that they may punish them according to their
deserts. Nor shall I, as I intended to do, stipulate in the treaty
of peace that the ancient constitution shall be confirmed and
guaranteed to the Tyrolese; nor shall I, finally, as I had resolved
to do, appoint a commission which will afford relief to the
fugitives who escape with their families to Austria. It will be your
fault if the poor Tyrolese are deprived of these boons, and you will
expose the deserted people to the most fearful persecutions."
"No, your majesty; no one shall ever be able to say that," cried
John, profoundly moved. "I will obey your order and draw up the
He hastened to the writing-table, and, throwing himself on a chair
in front of it, uttered a deep groan and dropped his head on his
breast as though he were dying.
"Well, do not reflect so long, brother," said Francis, "but write!"
John took up the pen, and, restraining the tears which filled his
eyes, wrote quickly a few lines. He then rose as pale as a corpse,
and, approaching the emperor slowly, handed the paper to him.
"Your majesty," he said, solemnly, "I have complied with your order.
I inform the Tyrolese that peace has been concluded, and exhort them
to submit. Will you now fulfil the conditions, on account of which I
have written this to the Tyrolese? Will you grant an asylum here in
Austria to those who shall succeed in escaping their tormentors and
executioners? Will you appoint an imperial commission which will
afford relief to the fugitives and their families?, And last, will
you see to it that the ancient constitution is guaranteed to the
Tyrolese in the treaty of peace you?"
"I pledged you my word that I would do so, dear brother" said the
emperor, smiling; "and you yourself said a while ago, 'Never will an
Emperor of Austria break his word and incur the disgrace of
perjuring himself.' Well, read to me now what you have written. I
should like to hear it from your own lips."
The archduke bowed and read in a tremulous voice:
"Dear, brave Tyrolese: The news that peace has been concluded will
soon reach you. The emperor has ordered me to confirm this
intelligence to you. The emperor would have done every thing to
fulfil the wishes of the Tyrol, but, however great an interest the
emperor takes in the fate of the honest and excellent inhabitants of
that province, he has had to submit to the stern necessity of making
peace. I inform you of this by order of his majesty, with the
addition that it is his majesty's wish that the Tyrolese should keep
quiet and not sacrifice themselves needlessly."
"The Archduke John."
"H'm!" said the emperor, taking the paper from John's hand and
contemplating it attentively, "it is written quite laconically
indeed. But, no matter, you have complied with my order and done
"I thank your majesty for this acknowledgment. And now that I have
done my duty, I request your majesty to be so gracious as to dismiss
me from your service, and permit me to retire from the court into
private life. I feel weak and exhausted, and need repose. Moreover,
since we have peace now, my services are superfluous and may be
easily dispensed with."
"And you wish me to dismiss you very speedily, do you not?" asked
the emperor, sarcastically. "You would like to retire as quickly as
possible into private life, that the whole world, and, above all,
the dear Tyrolese, may perceive that the noble and beloved Archduke
John is dissatisfied with the treaty, and has therefore withdrawn in
anger from the court and service of his emperor? I am sorry that I
cannot afford you this satisfaction. You will remain in the service;
I do not accept your resignation. I do not permit you to retire into
private life. You should devote your abilities to the state; you are
not allowed to withhold your services from it at this juncture."
"Your majesty, I can no longer be useful to the state. I am
exhausted to death. I repeat my request in the most urgent manner:
dismiss me from the service, and permit me to retire into private
"What!" cried Francis, vehemently. "Your emperor has informed you of
his will, and you dare to oppose it? That is a violation of
subordination, for which the emperor, as supreme commander of his
army, would punish his rebellious general rigorously, but for the
fact that this general unfortunately is his brother. I repeat it, I
do not accept your resignation. You remain in the service; I demand
it as your general-in-chief; I remind you of the oath of allegiance
which you have sworn to me, your emperor and master."
"Your majesty does right in reminding me of the oath I took," said
the archduke, with freezing coldness. "It is true, I swore that
oath; and as I am in the habit of keeping my word, and as it is
disgraceful for any one to break his word and perjure himself, I
shall fulfil my oath. Hence, I shall obey my emperor and general-in-
chief, and not leave the service. But now I ask leave of your
majesty to withdraw for to-day, if your majesty has nothing further
to say to me."
"Yes, I have something else to say to you, my dear brother," said
the emperor, smilingly. "I will give you a proof of the great
confidence which I repose in you, and with which I count upon your
discretion. I will communicate to you a family secret which is known
at present only to the Emperor Napoleon, Baron von Thugut, who acted
as my agent on this occasion, and myself."
"What!" asked John, in surprise; "the Emperor Napoleon is aware of a
family secret of your majesty?"
"As it concerns himself, he must be aware of it," said the emperor.
"Napoleon intends to marry a second time."
"A second time? Has his first wife, the Empress Josephine, then,
"No, she still lives, and is acting yet at this moment in Paris as
the emperor's legitimate consort. But Napoleon, immediately after
his return from Germany, will annul this marriage, which was never
consecrated by a priest; he will divorce himself solemnly from his
wife, and have then the right of marrying a second time. He
requested my secret agent, Baron von Thugut, to ask me if I would
consent to a marriage between him and an archduchess of Austria. I
replied in the affirmative, and this agreement forms one of the
secret articles of the treaty of peace."
"An archduchess of Austria is to become the consort of the French
despot!" cried John, in dismay. "And who, your majesty, is to be
sacrificed to the Minotaur? Which of your sisters or cousins will
you let him have?"
"None of my cousins or sisters," said Francis, calmly, "but my
eldest daughter, Maria Louisa, is to become the consort of the
"Maria Louisa!," cried John, with an expression of dismay. "Maria
And John staggered back several steps, as pale as a corpse, and
grasped the back of the chair in order not to sink to the floor.
Francis did not seem to perceive this. "Yes, Maria Louisa will be
Napoleon's second consort," he said. "Every thing is settled
already, and the marriage will take place next March. I think,
brother, you may stand proxy for Napoleon on that occasion."
The archduke gave a start, and pressed his hands to his temples as
if he were afraid lest this dreadful "family secret" would burst his
"Your majesty," he said, in a tremulous and almost inaudible voice,
"I beg leave to withdraw."
Without waiting for a reply, the archduke turned and left the room
with a tottering step, and leaning now and then against the wall in
order not to sink to the floor.
The emperor looked after him, smilingly. "It seems Hudelist was not
mistaken," he said. "My dear brother really loved Maria Louisa, and
intended to become my son-in-law. What a nice idea! But he must give
it up now. He--Holy Virgin! What noise is that in the anteroom? What
fell to the floor there?"
The emperor stepped quickly to the door and opened it. "What is the
matter here" he asked.
"Your majesty," exclaimed the footman, who hastened to him, "the
archduke fainted and fell to the floor, striking with his head
against the corner of a chair, and wounding his forehead, which is
"Well, I hope it is only a slight scratch," said the emperor,
composedly. "Carry the archduke to his bedchamber and send for my
surgeon. I will afterward call on him myself."
Without taking any further notice of the archduke, the emperor
returned into his cabinet and closed the door after him.
"He fainted," said Francis, triumphantly. "Henceforth he shall be
entirely powerless. No one shall have any power here but myself. Ah,
I have broken his pride, bent his will, and prostrated him at my
feet. All my brothers shall bow to me, acknowledge me as their
master, and obey me. Ah, I believe I have played a bad trick on my
brothers. The Archduke John will not become Duke of Tyrol; the
Grand-duke Ferdinand of Wuertzburg will not be Emperor of Austria,
for Napoleon will become my son-in-law, and he will take good care
not to deprive his father-in-law of his throne. I alone am, and
shall remain, Emperor of Austria."
All the Tyrolese were in the highest excitement and terror. Pale
faces were to be seen everywhere, and nothing was heard but the
anxious query: "Is it true? Has our emperor really made peace with
Bonaparte? Is it true that he has abandoned us entirely, and that we
are to become again subjects of France and Bavaria?"
And some, of the timid and disheartened sighed: "It is true! We read
so yesterday in the Innspruck Gazette, and the Viceroy of Italy has
sent two messengers through the Puster valley to proclaim that the
Emperors of Austria and France concluded a treaty of peace on the
14th of October, and that the Tyrolese are to lay down their arms
and become again subjects of France and Bavaria."
"It is not true!" cried the bold and courageous. "The Emperor
Francis has not made peace with Bonaparte; and if he has, he has
certainly not abandoned the Tyrol, but stipulated that we remain
with Austria; for he pledged us his word that we, should, and the
emperor will redeem his promise."
"It is not true; there is no peace, and we are still at war with the
Bavarians and French," cried Joseph Speckbacher, "and we will
continue the war."
"Yes, we will," shouted his brave men.
And as Speckbacher said, so did Andreas Hofer, so did Joachim
Haspinger, so did Anthony Wallner, Jacob Sieberer, and all the
intrepid commanders of the sharpshooters.
Led by these heroic men, the Tyrolese formed again a large army,
which took position on Mount Isel, and awaited there the Bavarians
who were marching upon Innspruck under the command of the crown
This time, however, the Tyrolese were not victorious; the Bavarians
expelled them from Innspruck, and, on the 29th of October, the crown
prince Louis of Bavaria made his triumphal entry into the city,
after a bloody battle of four days' duration on Mount Isel and near
the Judenstein. A part of the Tyrolese forces remained on Mount
Isel, and another part hastened with unbroken courage to other
regions, to meet the armies of the enemy and drive them beyond the
frontiers of the country.
Anthony Wallner returned with his sharpshooters to the Puster
valley, and advanced thence against General Rusca, who was coming up
from Carinthia with his corps; he intended to defend the frontiers
of his country, against him and General Baraguay d'Hilliers, who was
also approaching with a strong force.
Joseph Speckbacher marched his intrepid men to the Ziller valley and
the Muhlbach Pass, where he united with Joachim Haspinger, and
advanced with him upon the enemy.
All were in good spirits, and no one believed in the dreadful
tidings which at first had frightened them all so much: no one
believed that peace had been made.
Andreas Hofer himself thought the news was false. He had remained
courageous and undaunted in spite of the disastrous battle on Mount
Isel, and he sent messengers throughout the country, calling upon
all able-bodied men to take up arms and attack the enemy, who had
invaded the Tyrol once more. He was still encamped with his army
near Mount Isel, and had established his headquarters at Steinach.
The crown prince of Bavaria had sent to him hither two
plenipotentiaries, who informed him that peace had really been
concluded, and that the Tyrolese had no course left but submission.
But Andreas Hofer replied to these plenipotentiaries, shaking his
head indignantly, "That is a mean lie; the Emperor Francis, our
beloved master, will never abandon his loyal Tyrolese. He pledged us
his word, and he will keep it. Your intention is to deceive us, but
you cannot catch us by such stratagems. We believe in the emperor
and the good God, and neither of them will ever abandon us!"
And Andreas Hofer returned to his room with a calm smile and went to
In the dead of night, however, he was suddenly aroused from his
sleep. Cajetan Doeninger stood at his bedside and informed him that
the intendant of the Puster valley, Baron von Worndle, had arrived
with an envoy of the Emperor Francis, Baron von Lichtenthurn, and
both wished urgently to see the commander-in-chief.
"I will admit them," said Hofer, rising hastily; "God grant that
they are the bearers of good news!"
He dressed himself quickly and followed Doeninger into the room,
where he found the two envoys and several members of his suite.
"Now tell me, gentlemen, what news do you bring to us?" asked Hofer,
shaking hands with the two envoys.
"No good news, commander-in-chief," sighed Baron von Worndle, "but
there is no use in complaining; we must submit patiently to what
cannot be helped. The Emperor Francis has mane peace with France."
"Do you sing in that strain too, Mr. Intendant?" asked Andreas, with
a mournful smile. "I shall never believe it until I see it in black
and white, and until the emperor or the dear Archduke John informs
me of it."
"I bring it to you in black and white," exclaimed Baron von
Lichtenthurn, drawing a paper from his bosom and handing it to
Andreas. "Here is a letter from the Archduke John, which I am to
deliver to you."
Hofer hastily seized the paper, which contained that proclamation
which the Archduke John had written at Totis, and read it again and
again slowly and attentively. While he was doing so, his cheeks
turned pale, his breath issued heavily and painfully from his
breast, and the paper rustled in his trembling hands.
"It is impossible! I cannot believe it!" he exclaimed, mournfully,
gazing upon the paper. "The Archduke John did not write this. Just
look at it, his seal is not affixed to the paper. Sir, how can you
say that this letter is from the Archduke John? Where is the seal?
Where is the address?"
"Well, it is no private letter," said Baron von Lichtenthurn; "it is
an open letter, a proclamation, which I am instructed to show to
everybody in the Tyrol. A proclamation cannot contain a seal and an
address. But the Archduke John sent it; he himself wrote every word
"I do not believe it!" cried Andreas, in a triumphant voice; "no, I
do not believe it. You are a liar, and want to betray us. Look at
him, my friends; see how pale he turns, and how he trembles! For I
tell you he has a bad conscience. Bring me the Archduke John's seal,
and then I will believe that the paper is from him. But, as it is, I
look upon it as a cunning device got up by the enemy to entrap me.
Arrest him; he must confess all. I will not allow myself to be
caught by cunning and treachery!" [Footnote: Andreas Hofer's own
words.--See Hormayr's "Andreas Hofer," vol. ii, p. 490.]
He laid his heavy hand upon the shoulder of the baron, who sank to
the floor, uttering a loud cry of distress, and fell into fearful
"See!" cried Andreas, "that is the punishment of Heaven! The hand of
God has struck him. He is a traitor, who intended to sell us to the
"No, he is an honorable man, and has told you the truth," said Baron
von Worndle, gravely. "Your violent accusation frightened him; and
he fell into an epileptic fit. He is affected with that disease."
He and some of the bystanders raised the unfortunate baron from the
ground, and carried him into the adjoining room. He then returned to
Andreas, who was walking up and down with a hasty step, and
murmuring to himself, "I cannot believe it! The Archduke John did
not write it. His hand would have withered while writing it. He did
not do it."
"Yes, Andreas, he did," said Worndle, gravely; "he was obliged to
submit, as we all shall have to do. The Archduke John was obliged to
yield to the will of his emperor as we shall have to do. The treaty
of peace has been concluded. There is no doubt of it."
"Lord God! the treaty of peace has been concluded, and the emperor
abandons us?" cried Andreas.
"The emperor, it seems, was unable to do any thing for the Tyrol,"
said Worndle in a low voice. "He had to consent that the Tyrol
should be restored to the French and Bavarians."
"But that is impossible!" cried Andreas, despairingly. "He pledged
us his word, his sacred word, that he would never consent to a peace
that would detach the Tyrol from Austria. How can you now insult the
dear emperor by saying that he has broken his word?"
"He has not broken his word, but he was unable to keep it. Look,
commander-in-chief, I bring you another letter, to which, as you
see, is affixed a large imperial seal, the seal of the Viceroy of
Italy, who wrote the letter to you and all the Tyrolese."
"Read it," exclaimed Andreas, mournfully; "I cannot, my eyes are
filled with tears. Read it to me, sir."
Worndle read as follows:
"To the people of the Tyrol: His majesty the Emperor of the French,
King of Italy, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine, my
august father and sovereign, and his majesty, the Emperor of
Austria, have made peace. Peace, therefore, reigns everywhere around
you. You are the only people which does not enjoy its blessings.
Seduced by foreign instigations, you took up arms against your
government and overthrew it. The melancholy consequences of your
seditious course have overtaken you. Terror reigns now in your
towns, idleness and misery in your fields, and discord and disorder
are to be found in all parts of the country. His majesty the emperor
and king, profoundly moved by your wretched condition, and the
proofs of repentance which some of you have manifested to him, has
consented in the treaty to forgive your errors. I bring you peace
and forgiveness, but I warn you of the fact, that you will be
forgiven only if you return of your own accord to law and order, lay
down your arms, and offer no longer any resistance whatever. As
commander-in-chief of the armies surrounding you, I shall accept
your submission or compel you to surrender. Commissioners will
precede the armies; they have been instructed to listen to whatever
complaints and grievances you may wish to prefer. But, do not forget
that these commissioners are authorized to listen to you only after
you have laid down your arms. Tyrolese! I promise that you shall
obtain justice if your complaints and grievances are well-grounded.
Headquarters at Villach, October 25, 1809."
"EUGENE NAPOLEON." [Footnote: Hormayr's "Andreas Hofer," vol. 1., p.
Baron von Worndle had long since ceased to read, and still Andreas
Hofer stood motionless, his hands folded on his breast, his head
thrown back, and his eyes turned toward heaven. All gazed in
respectful silence upon that tall, imposing form which seemed frozen
by grief, and at that pale, mournful face, and those pious eyes,
which seemed to implore consolation and salvation from heaven.
At last Doeninger ventured to put his hand softly on Hofer's arm.
"Awake, dear commander-in-chief," he said in a low voice, "awake
from your grief. These gentlemen here are waiting for an answer.
Tell them what you think--" "What I think?" cried Hofer, giving a
start and dropping his eyes slowly. "What I think? I think that we
are poor, unhappy men, who have vainly risked our property and our
blood, our liberty and our lives. Tell me, then, my friends, is it
possible that the Emperor Francis, whom we all loved so dearly, and
who pledged us his word so solemnly and often, has abandoned us
after all? Cajetan, do you believe it?"
"It is in black and white here," said Doeninger, in his habitual
laconic style, pointing to the proclamation of the Archduke John.
"It is the archduke's handwriting; I am familiar with it. You need
no longer question its authenticity. Peace has been concluded."
"Peace has been concluded, the emperor has abandoned his Tyrol, the
Tyrol is lost!" cried Andreas, in a loud outburst of grief; and his
long-restrained tears streamed from his eyes. Andreas was not
ashamed of them. He threw himself on a chair, buried his face in his
hands, and wept aloud.
"The Tyrol is lost," he sobbed; "all my dear countrymen are in
profound distress, and, moreover, in the utmost danger; our beloved,
beautiful country will have to shed rivers of blood, and nothing
will be heard but wails and lamentations. For the emperor has
abandoned us, the enemy will re-enter the country, kill and burn,
and wreak a terrible revenge upon our people! Lord God," he
exclaimed all at once, "can I not do any thing, then, for my dear
country? Tell me, my friends, can I not do any thing to avert this
great calamity and save the lives of my dear countrymen?"
"Yes, Andreas," said Baron von Worndle, "you can do a great deal for
the Tyrol and your countrymen. You can prevent bloodshed, soften the
vindictiveness of the enemy, and induce him to spare the vanquished
and wreak no revenge on the disarmed. Write a proclamation to the
Tyrolese, admonish them to keep quiet, and order them to lay down
their arms. Return yourself to your home, your inn, and you will
have done on this mournful day more for the Tyrol than you have been
able to do for it up to this time; for you will thereby save the
Tyrol from untold disasters, which will surely befall the country if
you resume hostilities against enemies who are a hundred times
superior to us. It is impossible for us to withstand them
successfully. Their columns, well provided with artillery, are
moving upon all sides, and the whole Tyrol, as the Viceroy of Italy
writes, is surrounded. We have no course left but submission. Order
the Tyrolese, therefore, to submit, set a good example to them
yourself, and the Tyrol is saved, and no more blood will be shed."
"No more blood will be shed!" repeated Andreas Hofer, joyously.
"Well, then, I see that you are right, and that we have no course
left but submission. It is true, the emperor has abandoned us, but
the good God will still stand by us; and on seeing that we are
humble and submissive, He will have mercy upon us. Sit down,
Cajetan; I will dictate a letter to you. To whom must I write on
behalf of my beloved country?"
"Write to General Drouet," said Doeninger. "It was he who wrote to
you yesterday from Innspruck, informing you of the conclusion of
peace, and promising that, if you and all the Tyrolese would submit,
no harm should befall any one. You refused to answer his letter
because you did not believe him."
"I did not believe him," said Andreas, gently, "for I still believed
in my emperor. But I see now that General Drouet was right; I will,
therefore, write to him, and recommend my country and the good and
brave Tyrolese to his mercy. Take up the pen, Cajetan, and write."
And Andreas Hofer dictated in a low, tremulous voice, often
interrupted by sighs which issued from his breast like the groans of
a dying man, a letter to General Drouet, in which he promised in
touching words that the Tyrolese would lay down their arms, and said
they would trust, for pardon and oblivion of the past, to the
magnanimity of Napoleon, whose footsteps were guided by a superior
power, which it was no longer permitted them to resist.
"There," he said, after convincing himself that Doeninger had
written exactly what be had dictated, "now give me the pen, Cajetan.
I will sign it myself."
He bent over the table, and wrote quickly what he had so often
written under his decrees, "Andreas Hofer, commander-in-chief of the
But then he gave a start, and contemplated his signature long and
musingly. Heaving a profound sigh, and casting a mournful glance
toward heaven, he took up the pen a second time, and added the word
"late," slowly and with a trembling hand, to his title "commander-
in-chief of the Tyrol." [Footnote: "Gallery of Heroes: Andreas
Hofer," p. 173.]
"Now come, Cajetan," he exclaimed, throwing down the pen, as if it
was a viper which had wounded him, "come, Cajetan. I will go to my
sharpshooters and exhort them to disband, and afterward I will
return with you to my inn in the Passeyr valley, in order to set a
good example to all, and show them how to submit quietly and
And Andreas Hofer acted accordingly. He ordered his men to disband,
and after they had obeyed his order in sullen silence, he himself,
accompanied only by his faithful Cajetan Doeninger, went back to his
But neither the joyous welcome, with which his wife, faithful Anna
Gertrude, received him, nor the jubilant shouts of his children,
could arouse Andreas Hofer from his mournful brooding, or bring a
smile to his lips. He did not rejoice at his return to his dear
ones; he paid no attention to his business, he did not go to the
stables and barns as he used to do; but he sat hanging his head, his
hands folded on his knees, staring at the floor, and sighing from
time to time, "My poor country! How could the emperor abandon us?"
Only when Cajetan Doeninger was not with him, Andreas Hofer became
uneasy; he glanced around anxiously and called for his secretary;
when the latter hastened to him, he held out his hand and said in a
low, tremulous voice, "Cajetan, do not leave me. I always think I
may have something to write yet, and it seems to me as though what I
dictated to you at Steinach, declaring my readiness to submit, were
not the last of my official papers. Something else must come yet,--
yes, something else. I know it, for this state of affairs cannot
last. Therefore, Cajetan, stay with me that you may be ready and
able to write when the hour has come."
Cajetan stayed with him; both sat together in silence, and absorbed
in their gloomy reflections, and the days passed slowly and
It was on the afternoon of the fifth day, and Andreas Hofer sat in
silence, as usual, in the gloomy room. Every thing was still
without. All at once this profound silence was broken by a hum of
many voices and loud noise.
Hofer looked up and listened. "That sounds as if we were still at
war, and as if my sharpshooters were marching up," he said.
"Andreas Hofer, commander-in-chief of the Tyrol!" shouted loud
voices under the windows.
Hofer jumped up. "Who calls me?" he shouted, in a powerful voice.
At this moment the door was thrown open violently, and four
mountaineers, armed with their rifles, came in. Hofer saw through
the open door that the yard in front of the house was thronged with
peasants, and all looked with flashing eyes through the door at
Hofer; and they shouted now, "Andreas Hofer, commander-in-chief of
the Tyrol, come with us, come!"
Andreas Hofer seemed all at once animated by new life; his eyes shot
fire, his form was drawn up to its full height, and his head rose
again proudly between his powerful shoulders.
"What do you want of me, my dear countrymen?" he asked, going to
One of the four sharpshooters who had entered the room now came
forward, and placed himself with a defiant face in front of Hofer.
"We want you," he said. "Three thousand French soldiers are marching
across the Janfen. There is great excitement in the Puster valley,
and some fighting has taken place. Anthony Wallner has driven the
Bavarians long since across the frontier, and Speckbacher and the
Capuchin have marched to the Muhlbach Pass in order to attack Rusca.
And why are we to keep quiet, then? Why are we to allow the French
to enter the Passeyr valley?"
"We will not allow them to do it!" shouted the peasants outside.
"No, we will not allow the French to enter the Passeyr valley."
"You hear it, commander-in-chief," said the first speaker. "We are
all ready and determined. Now say what we are to do with the French.
Will you do any thing or not?"
"Yes, will you do any thing or not?" repeated the peasants,
penetrating with furious gestures into the room.
"If you do not want to do any thing," cried the peasant, raising his
rifle menacingly, "my rifle is loaded for you as well as for any
Frenchman. You commenced the insurrection, now put it through."
[Footnote: Loritza, "Bilder and Erinnerungen aus Tyrol's
Freiheitskampfen von 1809," p. 14.]
"But you know, countrymen, that I cannot!" cried Hofer. "The emperor
has made peace with Bonaparte and abandoned us. What course have we
left but that of submission? We must yield, or the Tyrol will be
"But we do not want to submit," shouted the peasants, furiously.
"And the whole country is of our opinion; no one is willing to
submit. We will die rather than submit."
"Issue another proclamation calling out the able-bodied men!" said
the first speaker.
"Yes, issue another proclamation, commander-in-chief," shouted the
crowd. "We will fight, we must fight!"
"And you shall and must be our leader!" exclaimed the peasant,
laying his heavy hand on Hofer's shoulder. "We will compel you to go
with us or kill you as a traitor. Issue another proclamation. We men
are still the same as before, and so is our cause; now you must
likewise be the same Andreas Hofer, commander-in-chief of the
"Yes," exclaimed Andreas, with a radiant face, drawing a deep
breath, as if relieved from an oppressive burden, "yes, I will be
the same as before. This state of affairs cannot continue. We must
fight; we had better die than lead such a life. Go, Doeninger, go;
write a proclamation!"
"Hurrah! Long live our commander-in-chief," shouted the peasants,
triumphantly; "long live our dear faithful Andreas Hofer!"
"I thank you, my dear countrymen," said Andreas; "I am your leader
now, and we will fight again. But do not hold me responsible for the
events of the future. You must never forget that you compelled me to
resume war. I intended to submit humbly and patiently, but you would
not allow me to do so, and dragged me forcibly from my retirement.
The bloody struggle will commence again--God grant us protection,
and further victories! We are not going to fight from motives of
pride and arrogance, but only for the sake of our country--because
we want to remain Germans, and do not want to become French
subjects, and because we want to keep our God, our liberty, and our
BETRAYAL AND SEIZURE OF HOFER.
War was now resumed at all points; but the forces brought from all
sides against the Tyrol were so immense that no hope remained to the
inhabitants but by deeds of glory to throw a last radiance around
their fall. The Tyrolese fought with desperate valor, but their
heroism was unavailing. The superior forces of the enemy were
everywhere victorious. The artillery of the Bavarians and French
thinned the ranks of the mountaineers from day to day; whole ranks
of the Tyrolese being mowed down by the balls of the enemy. They
fled panic-struck into the mountains. The victorious invaders
penetrated farther and farther into the interior of the country;
burning towns and villages marked the route which they followed, and
wails and lamentations rent the air wherever they made their
Before the middle of December all resistance had been overpowered.
The enemy stalked in a merciless manner over the gory, reeking,
groaning Tyrol, and pursued relentlessly all who had dared to rise
against him. He had promised oblivion and forgiveness in return for
peaceful submission; but as the Tyrolese had not submitted, but
continued the struggle, the enemy now threatened to revenge himself
and punish the vanquished.
A furious chase now commenced. Every one who had been seized with
arms in hand was shot; every one who concealed one of the pursued
patriots in his house was executed, and his house was burned down.
The leaders of the Tyrolese had fled into the mountains, but the
French generals promised large rewards for the heads of the most
influential patriots; and the soldiers traversed the country,
impelled by thirst for revenge and gain, spying everywhere for the
outlawed mountaineers, and ascending even to the snow-clad summits
of the mountains in order to obtain the large rewards. As yet,
however, they had not succeeded in seizing one of the pursued
chiefs. The French generals had vainly promised a reward of ten
thousand florins for the apprehension of Andreas Hofer, and rewards
of five thousand florins for the seizure of Joseph Spechbacher,
Anthony Wallner, and Joachim Haspinger. They had disappeared, and
the patrols and soldiers, who were hunting for them, had not yet
been able to discover the hiding-place of any of the four great
chiefs of the insurrection. The mountains, those natural fortresses
of the Tyrol, protected the outlawed commanders; and in the Alpine
huts, amidst the chamois and vultures, which alone saw and knew
their hiding-places, there were no traitors.
Retiring to his native valley, Andreas Hofer long eluded the search
of the victors. His place of concealment was a solitary Alpine hut,
four leagues distant from his home, in general inaccessible from the
snow which surrounded it. Love had accompanied Andreas to this
inhospitable spot. His wife and his son John were with him, and so
was Cajetan Doeninger, his faithful secretary. Love had accompanied
him to the Alpine hut of his friend Pfandler; love watched over him
in the valley below. Many peasants there were well aware of Hofer's
place of concealment, but no one betrayed him, no one was tempted by
the reward of ten thousand florins which Baraguay d'Hilliers, the
French general, offered for Hofer's apprehension. They often saw
Pfandler's servants, loaded with all sorts of provisions, wending
their way slowly and painfully up the snow-clad Alp; but they
averted their heads, as though they did not want to see anything,
and prayed God in a low tone to protect the messengers who conveyed
food to Hofer and his dear ones. The peasants in the valley forbore
carefully to speak among each other of what they knew; only they
treated Pfandler with reverential tenderness, shook hands with him
quietly, and whispered, "God bless you and him!" At times, on a
clear winter day, when thin smoke curled up suddenly from the Alp,
the peasants in the valley looked up sighingly and whispered
compassionately, "They have built a fire in their hut. The cold is
so severe. God bless them!" But whenever one whom they did not trust
stepped up to them, wondering at the smoke, and saying that somebody
was concealed up there, and had built a fire in order not to freeze
to death, the others laughed at him, and said there was no smoke at
all, but only snow blown up by the storm.
One day, however, a stranger arrived in the valley, and asked
whisperingly for Andreas Hofer, to whom, he said, he would bring
assistance and safety. At first no one replied to him; but he showed
them a paper, bearing the name and seal of the Archduke John, and
containing the following words, written by the prince himself: "Help
my messenger to find Andreas Hofer, and bring him assistance and
On reading this, the peasants distrusted him no longer. They glanced
furtively up to the Schneeberg, pointed to the two wanderers, loaded
with baskets, who were toiling up the mountain through the snow, and
whispered almost inaudibly, "Follow them!"
The messenger did so. He climbed after the two servants, and
ascended with them the inhospitable, dreary, and deserted heights.
At length he arrived in front of the Alpine hut; he knocked at the
door, and asked admittance in the name of God and the Archduke John.
The door opened immediately, and on the threshold appeared Hofer's
tall, bearded form, as erect and vigorous as it had been in the days
of his splendor, and his mild, honest eye greeted the new-comer.
"He who comes in the name of God and the Archduke John will not
deceive me," said Andreas, kindly. "Come in, therefore; for you must
have good intentions toward me, inasmuch as the severe cold did not
deter you from coming up to me."
"Indeed I have good intentions toward you," said the messenger. "Do
you not know me, then, Andy? I am Anthony Steeger, the Archduke
"Oh, yes, now I know you!" exclaimed Andreas, joyfully. "I saw you
in Vienna at the time we were there to devise plans for the
deliverance of the Tyrol. Well, come in, Anthony Steeger; come in to
my wife, my son, and my secretary."
He conducted Anthony Steeger into the room, where the three greeted
him, and made room for him in front of the hearth, on which large
billets of wood were burning. Anthony Steeger looked around in this
wretched room, which contained nothing but a few rickety wooden
chairs, and a rough-hewn pine table, and the walls and windows of
which were protected from the cold by thick linings of hay and
"Yes, you may well look around in my palace," said Andreas,
smilingly; "it is not very gorgeous here, but the good God is with
us, and He will help us to get along."
"And the Archduke John will help you also," said Anthony Steeger.
"Listen to me, Andreas. The archduke sends me to you. He sends you
his greetings, and entreats you to come with your family to him and
stay with him all your life long, or, if you should not like to do
that, at least until you can live again safely in the Tyrol. The
archduke has already fitted up a house for you in a village which
belongs to him; you shall live there with your whole family as the
beloved and honored guests of the archduke. He implores you to
accept his invitation. I have with me every thing that is necessary
for your flight, Andy. The archduke has given me money, a passport
for you and your family, and safeguards issued by the French
generals. I am familiar with the roads and by-paths in this
vicinity, and will convey you safely through the mountains. The
archduke has thought of every thing and provided for every thing."
"It is very kind in the dear Archduke John not to have forgotten
me," said Andreas, deeply moved; "it is honest and faithful that he
should like to take care of me and reward my love. And it is very
kind in you, too, Anthony Steeger, to have acted in this spirit of
self-denial. You have come from a great distance to save us, and are
not afraid of venturing with us upon this most dangerous flight."
"And you accept my offer, Andy, and consent to accompany me, do you
"And what of them?" asked Andreas, casting a tender glance on his
wife and his son. "The route across the glaciers is impassable for a
woman and a child."
"First save yourself, my Andy," exclaimed Anna Gertrude; "save
yourself for us and the country. After you are gone and have arrived
at a place of safety, the enemy will hardly trouble us any more, and
I will follow you then with the children."
"You need not be anxious, so far as your wife and children are
concerned," said Doeninger. "I will not leave them, but bring them
"Pray do not hesitate, Andy," said Anthony Steeger, urgently. "The
archduke implores you not to grieve him by rejecting his offer, but
to relieve his conscience from the heavy debt which he has hitherto
been unable to discharge to the Tyrol. You shall escape for his sake
and for the good of the fatherland, and save your life for better
times, which will surely dawn upon the Tyrol. Do it, Andreas. Let us
go to work immediately. See, I have with me all that you need, and
wear two suits of clothes; one is destined for you, and you will put
it on. And here is the razor, with which we shall shave off your
beard; and when it is gone, and you have put on the new clothes, no
one will scent the Barbone in the man with a foreign dress and a
smooth chin. Come, now, Andy, and do not hesitate."
"I am to make quite another man of myself," said Andreas, shaking
his head, "merely to save my miserable life? I am to deny my dear
Passeyr? I am to shave off my beard, which I have worn so long in an
honorable manner, and by which everyone knows me throughout the
Tyrol? No, Anthony Steeger, I will never do that!"
"If you do not, Andreas, you are lost," said Anthony Steeger. "I am
afraid the French are already on your track. A peasant said he had
seen you up here the other day."
"Yes, it was Raffel. He came up here to look for his cow, and met me
here. But I gave him money not to betray my secret, and he promised
me solemnly that be would not."
"He must have violated his pledge already, Andy; for he told Donay,
the priest, about it, and the latter boasted publicly yesterday that
he was aware of Andreas Hofer's place of concealment."
"It is true, Donay is a bad and mean man," said Andreas Hofer,
musingly; "but I do not believe he will be so mean as to betray me,
whom he always called his best commander-in-chief and dearest
"He is mean enough to do it," murmured Doeninger. "The magnitude of
the price set on your head will induce him to betray his
"Andy," cried Anna Gertrude, bursting into tears, and clinging to
her husband, "save yourself! If you love me and the children, save
yourself; cut off your beard, put on the new suit of clothes, and
escape from your bloodthirsty enemies. Save yourself, for the sake
of your wife and your poor children!"
"I cannot," said Andreas, mournfully, embracing his wife tenderly;
"no, so help me God, I cannot leave my dear, unhappy country. I know
full well that I shall not avert any calamities from the Tyrol by
staying here, but I will at least share its misfortunes. I was
unable to save my native country; I will therefore suffer with it. A
good captain does not desert his shipwrecked vessel, but dies with
it; and thus I will not desert my country either, but die with it. I
will do all I can to save myself, but I will not leave the Tyrol; I
will not cut off my beard nor put on other clothes. I will not mask
and disguise myself, but will remain in adversity what I was in the
days of prosperity, Andreas Hofer, the Barbone. State that to the
dear archduke, Anthony Steeger, and tell him also that I am very
grateful to him for wishing to save me in his way, and that I hope
he will not be angry with me for being unable to accept his kind
offer, or for wishing to live and die with my country. If he wishes
to do any thing for me, let him go to the Emperor Francis, and tell
him I am well aware that he himself would never have forgotten us,
but that his bad ministers did it all, and betrayed the poor Tyrol
so perfidiously. Let him beseech the emperor to intercede vigorously
in behalf of the Tyrol and of myself, but not to separate me from
the Tyrol." [Footnote: "Gallery of Heroes: Andreas Hofer," p. 188.]
"Andreas," cried his wife, despairingly, "you are lost--I feel it
here in my heart--you are lost, if you do not flee with Steeger this
"And I feel it here in my heart that I must stay here, even though I
should be lost," said Andreas, firmly. "Well, you must weep no more,
Anna Gertrude; and you, Anthony Steeger, accept my cordial thanks
for your kind and generous intentions."
"Then you have made up your mind, Andy, not to go with me?"
"I have, Anthony. But if you will do me a great favor, take my wife
and my boy with you, for the enemy threatens them as well as me.
Take them with you, Anthony, convey them across the mountains, and
conduct them to the Archduke John."
"It is impossible," said Anthony Steeger, mournfully, "the roads are
so full of snow that they are utterly impassable for women and
"And you would advise me to leave them here?" asked Andreas, Hofer,
reproachfully. "I am to leave here my most precious treasures merely
to save my miserable life? No, my friend, I shall stay here with my
wife and child and Doeninger there. But you must go now and save
yourself; for, if the enemy should really come, it would be bad for
you to be found here."
"I will go, Andy, not to save myself, however, but to convey your
message speedily to the archduke, that he may save you in another
way by the emperor's intercession. In the valley I shall tell every
one that you are no longer in this Alpine hut, but have already
succeeded in escaping to Vienna, so that it will be unnecessary for
the enemy to pursue you any longer."
"Do so, Anthony Steeger; and if they believe you, I shall be glad of
it. But go now; I am anxious on your account, and think something
might happen to you here. Go, my dear friend."
He drew Steeger to the door, and, not permitting him to take a long
leave of the others, conducted him out of the hut, and then embraced
him tenderly. "Now listen to what I wish to tell you," he whispered,
in a low voice. "I must stay here to save my wife and my boy. The
two cannot flee now, as you yourself admitted to me. If I should
escape now, and leave them here, the enemy would spy out their place
of concealment and revenge himself upon them; he would torture and
kill them in his rage at not having captured me. But if I stay, and
the French should find me, I believe they would release my wife and
my son and do no harm to them; for then they would have got me, and
they are entirely innocent. Go, then, my dear friend; tell the
archduke all I have said to you, and greet him a thousand times from
his faithful Andy. Now farewell, and go with God's blessing!"
He nodded once more kindly to Anthony Steeger. and returned quickly
into the Alpine hut. He found his wife in tears; little John, her
son, was kneeling before her, with his head against his mother's
knees, and weeping also. Doeninger stood at the hearth and stared
into the fire.
Andreas Hofer went to him and laid his hand gently on his shoulder.
"Cajetan," he asked, mildly, "did I do right?"
"Yes, commander-in-chief, you did," said Doeninger, solemnly.
"I want to tell you something more, Cajetan," added Andreas. "What
Steeger said about Rafel and Donay may be true; the French may have
discovered my place of concealment, and may come up here. Hence,
dear Cajetan, you must leave me and escape, lest they should seize
"A good servant leaves his master no more than a captain deserts his
shipwrecked vessel," said Doeninger, firmly. "You refuse to leave
your native country in its adversity because you love it. I refuse,
likewise, to leave you in the days of your adversity, because I love
you. I shall stay here."
Andreas Hofer encircled Doeninger with his arms and folded him
tenderly to his heart. "Stay with me, then, my Cajetan," he said,
affectionately. "God knows my heart would have grieved had you
consented to leave me. And now, Anna Gertrude, do not weep any
longer. Make haste, dear wife, pack up all your things, and let us
go early to bed. For early in the morning we will leave this hut. I
know another Alpine hut at no great distance from here; I believe we
will be able to get thither, and we will take with us as many things
as we can carry. Make haste, therefore, dear Anna Gertrude!"
Anna Gertrude dried her tears, and, flushed with new hope, packed up
their things in four small bundles, so that each might carry one
according to his strength.
Night came at last--the last night which they were to pass at this
hut. At the break of day they were to set out for their new place of
They went to bed at an early hour. Andreas Hofer had sent the two
servants down to Brandach, where they were to get some articles
necessary for the trip on the morrow. Hofer and his wife slept in
the room below. Cajetan Doeninger and little John Hofer lay in the
small hay-loft, to which a ladder led up from the room.
But Doeninger did not sleep. He thought all the while of Raffel, who
had come up there three days ago and seen Andreas; he thought of
Donay, the priest, to whom Raffel had betrayed Hofer's place of
concealment. He knew that Donay, who, up to the days of adversity,
had always professed to be Hofer's friend and an extreme partisan of
the insurrection, had suddenly, since the enemy had reoccupied the
Tyrol, changed his colors, become a preacher of peace and
submission, and an ardent adherent of the French, with whose
officers he held a great deal of intercourse. He knew Donay's
avaricious and treacherous character, and, therefore, he trembled
for Andreas Hofer's safety. He lay uneasy and full of anxiety on his
couch, listening all the while for suspicious sounds. But nothing
was heard but the storm howling and whistling about the hut, and the
regular respirations of the two sleepers in the room below.
Hour passed after hour; all remained silent, and Doeninger felt
somewhat relieved, for day would soon dawn, when the hour of flight
would be at hand. Doeninger dropped his head slowly on the hay to
sleep an hour and invigorate himself for to-morrow's trip. However,
no sooner had he done so than he gave a start, lifted up his head
again, and listened. He had heard a sound outside. The sound, as it
were, of many approaching footsteps which creaked on the frozen
Doeninger crept cautiously to the small hole in the roof and looked
out. The moon shed her pale light on the white snowfield around the
hut, and Doeninger could see and recognize everything. He saw a
detachment of soldiers coming up yonder. He saw them halt at a short
distance from the hut. He then saw two forms approaching the hut.
Now they stood still in front of it. The moon shone brightly into
the face of one of them; Doeninger recognized him at once; it was
Raffel, the betrayer. The other was a French officer. The latter
stood still at a distance of some steps from the hut, but Raffel
went close up to the door, applied his ear to it and listened.
"They are here," he then said to the officer in a low voice. The
officer immediately lifted up his arm and shouted "Forward!" The
soldiers advanced and surrounded the hut. All was lost!
Doeninger awakened the sleeping boy. "John," he said in a low voice,
"let us go down to father. The French have come."
The boy uttered a loud cry. "The French have come!" he exclaimed,
despairingly; "they want to arrest my father!"
"Come," said Doeninger, imperatively; and he took the boy in his
arms, and hastened with him down the ladder into the room below.
"Awake," he said, bending over Andreas Hofer; "the enemy has come."
Andreas started up and stared incredulously at Doeninger; but his
wife rose, uttering low lamentations, and dressed herself hurriedly.
"Let us flee," she murmured; "quick, quick, let us escape by the
"The hut is surrounded," said Doeninger, assisting Hofer in
dressing. "We can no longer flee."
"Is that true?" asked Andreas, calmly.
"It is, commander-in-chief."
"Well, then, as it pleases God," said Hofer, crossing himself; and,
traversing the room quickly, he opened the front door.
The soldiers stood four files deep, shouldering their muskets.
Andreas advanced fearlessly close up to the enemy.
"Is there one of you, gentlemen, who speaks German?" he asked, with
"I do," said the officer, stepping rapidly forward.
Andreas greeted him with a proud nod of the head. "Well, then," he
said, "I am Andreas Hofer, late commander-in-chief of the Tyrolese.
I ask for quarter and good treatment."
"I cannot promise any thing to a rebel," replied the officer,
"But you have come to seize me, and none but me," continued Andreas,
in a gentle voice. "Well, then, here I am; do with me as you please.
But I ask you to have mercy upon my wife and my son, and this young
man, for they are entirely innocent." [Footnote: Andreas Hofer's own
words. See "Gallery of Heroes."]
The officer made no reply. He signed to his soldiers, and ordered
them to bind Andreas Hofer and the others in such a manner as to
render it utterly impossible for them to escape.
The soldiers rushed furiously upon the defenseless captives, tied
their hands on their backs, and wound the ropes round their necks,
so that they could drag them forward like oxen. And after binding
Andreas Hofer, so that they were no longer afraid of his strong
arms, they surrounded him with scornful laughter, tore handfuls of
hair from his beard, and said they would keep them "as souvenirs of
General Barbone." Blood streamed from his lacerated face, but the
cold froze it and transformed the gory beard into a blood red
icicle, which pricked the numerous wounds in his chin every moment,
and inflicted intense pain.
Andreas did not complain; he looked only at his wife, his son, and
his friend, who, bound like himself, scantily dressed and barefooted
like himself, were dragged down the mountain, which was covered with
snow and ice, into the plain below. His hands, into which the rope
was cutting all the while, were very sore; his bare feet swelled
from walking on the snow and were torn by the icicles. Still Andreas
did not complain; but on hearing the low wails of his son, on seeing
that every footstep of his wife, who was dragged along before him,
left a bloody spot in the snow, he burst into loud sobs, and two
tears rolled slowly down his cheeks into his beard, where they froze
in the blood.
The dreadful march was continued to Meran. French generals, staff-
officers, and soldiers awaited the tottering prisoners at the gate.
The soldiers greeted the captured "bandit chief Barbone" with loud
cheers and scornful laughter; and Andreas Hofer and the others
entered the city, preceded by a band which played a ringing march.
The French were overjoyed, but the citizens stood in front of their
houses, and, regardless of the presence of their cruel enemies,
greeted Andreas Hofer with tears and loud lamentations.
The journey was continued on the following day to Botzen; only the
prisoners, whose bleeding and lacerated feet refused to carry them
any longer, had been laid on a common farm-wagon, and some clothing
had been thrown over them.
At Botzen Andreas Hofer received cheering news. A noble German lady,
the wife of Baron de Giovanelli, had dared to implore the French
General Baraguay d'Hilliers to have mercy on Hofer's unfortunate and
innocent family; to save them, she had knelt down before the general
and besought him with heart-rending lamentations. Baraguay
d'Hilliers had been unable to withstand her supplications, and
consented to release those for whom she pleaded.
"The viceroy's orders," he said, "are only to the effect that the
Sandwirth Hofer be conveyed to Mantua. I yield to your prayers,
therefore, madame; his companions shall be released, and shall not
be molested again. His wife may return with her son to her home, and
carry on the inn as heretofore; but she must be cautious and not
expose herself to new dangers by imprudent words. The young man may
go wherever he pleases."
This was the cheering intelligence which Andreas Hofer received on
the third day of his captivity in the jail where he and his dear
ones lay on wet straw.
"See, Cajetan," he exclaimed, joyfully, "it turns out just as I
said. My seizure releases my wife and my child, and relieves them
from all dangers."
"But I will not leave you," cried Anna Gertrude, embracing him
tenderly; "I will stay and die with you."
"And is our son yonder to die too?" asked Andreas, pointing to his
boy. "And our three little girls, are they to become entirely
helpless, and have neither father nor mother to protect them? Anna
Gertrude, you must be father and mother to them; you must not leave
them and our boy. You must preserve their small inheritance to them,
bring them up in the fear of the Lord, and teach them, also, to love
their poor father and honor his memory."
"Husband, dear husband, I cannot leave you, I cannot!" sobbed the
poor woman. "Do not thrust me from your heart, do not leave me
behind, all alone and without consolation."
Andreas lifted his arm and pointed up to heaven. "There is our
Consoler," he said; "He will help you. Confide in Him, Anna
Gertrude. Go to your children, be father and mother to them, and
love them in my and your name."
At this moment the door of the prison opened, and the jailer,
followed by soldiers, came in.
"Andreas Hofer," said the jailer, imperatively, "come! The wagon
which is to convey you to Mantua is in readiness. As for you others,
begone; you have no longer any business here. Come, Andreas Hofer,
"Let me first bless my wife and my son, my friend," said Hofer, and,
laying his hands on the heads of his wife and child, he blessed them
in a loud voice, and commended them to the protection of the Lord.
Doeninger knelt behind him, and Andreas Hofer laid his hand on his
head also, blessed him, and thanked him for his love and fidelity.
"Come now, come!" cried the soldiers; and they seized him with rude
violence and dragged him forward.
Anna Gertrude burst into loud lamentations in her grief and despair,
and clung to Hofer in the anguish of her love.
"Do not lament any longer," said Andreas, mildly; "bring your grief
as an offering to the crucified Redeemer, and show now that you are
Hofer's wife. Farewell, love! Kiss our children! Forward now!"
And he led the way with a rapid step. Anna Gertrude, pale as a
corpse, trembling and tottering, seized her son's hand and rushed
after her husband. Cajetan Doeninger followed them resolutely and
with a defiant expression of countenance.
At the street-door stood the farm-wagon, covered with straw, which
was to convey Andreas Hofer to Mantua. Ten soldiers with loaded
muskets stood upon it, and a crowd of soldiers surrounded it.
Andreas Hofer walked calmly and with head erect through their ranks
to the wagon. His wife had knelt down; she wept and sobbed bitterly,
and embraced convulsively her son, who gazed in dismay at his
Andreas Hofer had now ascended the wagon. The soldiers stepped back,
and the driver whipped up the horses.
Suddenly, Cajetan Doeninger elbowed his way to the wagon, and signed
to the driver to stop.
"I shall accompany Hofer," he said, grasping the side-railing of the
wagon in order to mount it.
"No, no," cried the jailer, hastening to him. "You are mistaken, you
Doeninger, still clinging to the railing of the wagon, turned to
him. "What said the general's order?" he asked.
"It said, 'the young man is free, and can go wherever he pleases.'"
"Well, then," said Doeninger, mounting the wagon, quickly, "the
young man will accompany Andreas Hofer to Mantua. Forward, driver,
The driver whipped up the horses, and the wagon started for Mantua.
[Footnote: Donay, the priest who betrayed Andreas Hofer, according
to the general belief of the Tyrolese, was soon afterwards appointed
imperial chaplain at the chapel of Loretto, by a special decree of
the Emperor Napoleon, and received, besides, large donations in
lands and money.--See Hormayr's "Andreas Hofer," vol. ii., p. 507.--
The peasant Francis Joseph Raffel, who had betrayed Hofer's place of
concealment to Donay, was afterward called Judas Iscariot throughout
the Tyrol. Every one turned his back upon him with the utmost
horror, and the men of the Passeyr valley told him they would shoot
him if he did not hang himself within a week. Raffel fled in great
dismay to Bavaria, where the government gave him a small office in
the revenue department--See "Gallery of Heroes; Andreas Hofer," p.
The French hunted throughout the Tyrol for the unfortunate men who
had hitherto been the heroes of the fatherland, but who, since their
cause had succumbed, were called rebels and traitors. The soldiers
who were in search of this noble game, for which large rewards were
offered to them, had already succeeded in arresting one of the
heroes of the Tyrol: Peter Mayer had fallen into their hands, and,
having been tried by a military commission at Botzen, was shot. But
they had been unable as yet to discover the hiding-places of the
other insurgent leaders, despite the large prices which the
government had set upon their heads. Joseph Speckbacher, for whom
the soldiers were hunting most eagerly, had disappeared. The French
and Bavarians ransacked every house where they suspected he might be
concealed; they inflicted the heaviest fines and most cruel tortures
on the friends of the fugitive chief, because they would not betray
the place where their beloved commander was concealed; but all was
in vain. Joseph Speckbacher had disappeared, and so had Father
Haspinger and Anthony Wallner. [Footnote: Speckbacher had fled to
the higher mountains, where, on one of the summits of the
Eisgletscher, in a cavern discovered by him in former times when
pursuing the chamois, he lay for several weeks in the depth of
winter, supported by salt provisions, eaten raw, lest the smoke of a
fire should betray his place of concealment to his pursuers.
Happening one day, in the beginning of March, to walk to the
entrance for a few minutes to enjoy the ascending sun, an avalanche,
descending from the summit of the mountain above, swept him along
with it, down to the distance of half a mile on the slope beneath,
and dislocated his hip-bone in the fall. Unable now to stand,
surrounded only by ice and snow, tracked on every side by ruthless
pursuers, his situation was, to all appearance, desperate; but even
then the unconquerable energy of his mind and the incorruptible
fidelity of his friends saved him from destruction. Summoning up all
his courage, he contrived to drag himself along the snow for several
leagues, during the night, to the village of Volderberg, where, to
avoid discovery, he crept into the stable. His faithful friend gave
him a kind reception, and carried him on his back to Rinn, where his
wife and children were, and where Zoppel, his devoted domestic,
concealed him in a hole in the cowhouse, beneath where the cattle
stood, though beyond the reach of their feet, where he was covered
up with cow-dung and fodder, and remained for two months, till his
leg was set and he was able to walk. The town was full of Bavarian
troops; but this extraordinary place of concealment was never
discovered, even when the Bavarian dragoons, as was frequently the
case, were in the stable looking after their horses. Zoppel did not
even inform Speckbacher's wife of her Husband's return, lest her
emotions or visits to the place might betray his place of
concealment. At length, in the beginning of May, the Bavarian
soldiers having left the house, Speckbacher was lifted from his
living grave and restored to his wife and children. As soon as he
was able to walk, he set out, and, journeying chiefly in the night,
through the wildest and most secluded Alps, by Dux and the sources
of the Salza, he passed the Styrian Alps, where he crossed the
frontier and reached Vienna in safety. There he was soon after
joined by his family and liberally provided for.
Haspinger succeeded in escaping into Switzerland, whence he
travelled by cross-paths through Friuli and Carinthia to Vienna,
where he received protection from the emperor.]
General Broussier was especially exasperated at the last named, the
valiant commander of Windisch-Matrey, and he had promised a reward
of one thousand ducats to him who would arrest "that dangerous
demagogue and bandit-chief, Anthony Aichberger-Wallner," and deliver
him to the French authorities. But Wallner and his two sons, who,
although hardly above the age of boyhood, had seemed to the French
authorities so dangerous that they had set prices upon their heads,
were not to be found anywhere. Schroepfel, Wallner's faithful
servant, had taken the boys into the mountains, where he stayed with
them; after nightfall he went down to Matrey to fetch provisions for
the lonely fugitives.
Anthony Wallner's fine house was silent and deserted now. Only his
wife and his daughter Eliza lived in it, and they passed their days
in dreary loneliness and incessant fear and anguish. Eliza Wallner
was alone, all alone and joyless. She had not seen her beloved Elza
since the day when she was married. She herself had started the same
night with Haspinger for her father's headquarters. Elza had
remained with her young husband in Innspruck, where her father died
on the following day; and after the old Baron had been buried, Elza
had accompanied her husband to Munich. From thence she wrote from
time to time letters overflowing with fervent tenderness to her
beloved friend, and these letters were the only sunbeams which
illuminated Eliza's cheerless life; these letters told her of her
friend's happiness, of her attachment to her young husband, who
treated her with the utmost kindness and tenderness.
Eliza had received this afternoon another letter from her friend;
with a melancholy smile she read Elza's description of her domestic
happiness, and her eyes had unconsciously filled with tears which
rolled slowly down her pale cheeks. She dried them quickly, but her
mother, who sat opposite her near the lamp and seemed to be busily
sewing, had already seen them.
"Why do you weep, Lizzie?" she asked. "Have you got bad news from
Eliza shook her head with a mournful smile. "No, dear mother," she
said; "thank God, my Elza is happy and well, and that is my only
"And yet you weep, Eliza?"
"Did I weep, then?" she asked. "It was probably a tear of joy at my
"No, Lizzie, it was no tear of joy," cried her mother, mournfully.
"I see you often in tears, when you think that I do not notice it.
You are grieving, Lizzie, do not deny it; you are grieving. You
sacrificed your love and happiness to Elza, and she does not even
know it; she does not thank you, and you will pine away. I see very
well how sad you are; and you become paler and more emaciated from
day to day. Yes, yes, you will die of grief, for you still love
Ulrich von Hohenberg."
"No," cried Eliza, vehemently, blushing deeply, "I do not love him.
I have buried my love in my heart, and it reposes there as in a
shrine. It is true I think of it very often, I pray to it, but I
have no unholy thoughts and feel no sinful desires. I am glad that
my Elza is so happy; yes, I am glad of it and thank God for it. But
how can I be merry and laugh, mother, so long as my dear, dear
father has not returned to us? He must hide like a criminal; they
are chasing him like a wild beast; he is always in danger, and we
must constantly tremble for his safety. And I cannot do any thing
for him, I cannot share his dangers, I cannot be with him in the
dreadful solitude on the Alp above. I must look on in idleness, and
cannot be useful to any one, neither to my father, nor to my
brothers, nor to you, dear mother. I cannot help my father and
brothers, and cannot comfort you, mother; for I myself am in
despair, and would--what was that, mother? Did not some one knock at
"Hush, hush!" whispered her mother; "let us listen."
They listened with bated breath. Eliza had not been mistaken; some
one knocked a second time at the window-shutter, and the voice of a
man whispered, "Mrs. Wallner, are you in the room? Open the door to
"It must be a good friend of ours, for the dogs do not bark," said
Eliza; "we will let him come in."
She took the lamp and went out courageously to draw the bolt from
the street-door and open it.
Yes, she had not been mistaken, it was really a good friend of
theirs; the man who entered the house was one of the few friends who
had not denied Anthony Wallner, and who had not turned their backs
upon his family since it was outlawed and in distress.
"You bring us bad news, Peter Siebermeier?" asked Eliza, anxiously,
gazing into the mountaineer's pale and dismayed face.
"Unfortunately I do," sighed Siebermeier, stepping hastily into the
sitting-room and shaking hands with Eliza's mother. "Mrs. Wallner,"
he said, in breathless hurry, "your husband is in the greatest
danger, and only speedy flight can save him."
Mrs. Wallner uttered a piercing cry, sank back into her chair, wrung
her hands, and wept aloud. Eliza did not weep; she was calm and
courageous. "Tell me, Siebermeier, what can we do for father? What
danger threatens him?"
"A bad man. I believe, the clerk of the court, has informed the
French that Anthony Wallner is still on one of the heights in this
neighborhood. General Broussier intends to have him arrested. A
whole battalion of soldiers will march to-morrow morning to the
mountain of Ober-Peischlag and occupy it."
"Great God! my husband is lost, then!" cried Eliza's mother,
despairing; "nothing can save him now."
"Hush, mother, hush!" said Eliza, almost imperatively; "we must not
weep now, we must think only of saving him. Tell me, friend
Siebermeier, is there no way of saving him?"
"There is one," said Siebermeier, "but how shall we get up to him? A
friend of mine, who is acquainted with the members of the court,
informed me quite stealthily that, if Aichberger could be saved yet,
it should be done this very night. Now listen to the plan I have
devised. I intended to set out to-morrow morning to peddle carpets
and blankets, for money is very scarce in these hard times. I
procured, therefore, a passport for myself and my boy, who is to
carry my bundle. Here is the passport--and look! the description
corresponds nearly to Wallner's appearance. He is of my stature and
age, has hair and whiskers like mine, and might be passed off for
myself. I am quite willing to let him have my passport, and conceal
myself meanwhile at home and feign sickness. The passport would
enable him to escape safely; of course he would have to journey
through the Alps, for every one knows him in the plain. However, the
passport cannot do him any good, for there is no one to take it up
to him. I would do so, but the wound which I received in our last
skirmish with the Bavarians, in my side here, prevents me from
ascending the mountain-paths; and, even though I could go up to him,
it would be useless, for we two could not travel together, the
passport being issued to two persons, Siebermeier, the carpet-
dealer, and the boy carrying his bundle. The boy is not described in
the passport; therefore, I thought, if one of your sons were in the
neighborhood, he might go up to his father, warn him of his danger,
and accompany him on his trip through the mountains."
"But neither of the boys is here," said Mrs. Wallner, despairingly;
"Schroepfel took them to the Alpine but near Upper Lindeau, and is
with them. We two are all alone, and there is, therefore, no way of
saving my dear husband."
"Yes, mother, there is," cried Eliza, flushed with excitement. "I
will go up to father. I will warn him of his danger, carry him the
passport, and flee with him."
"You!" cried her mother, in dismay. "It is impossible! You cannot
ascend the road, which is almost impassable even for men. How should
a girl, then, be able to get over it, particularly in the night, and
in so heavy a snow-storm?"
"You will be unable to reach your father, Lizzie," said Siebermeier;
"the road is precipitous and very long; you will sink into the snow;
your shoes will stick in it, and the storm will catch your dress."
"No road is too precipitous for me if I can save my father,"
exclaimed Eliza, enthusiastically. "I must reach him, and God will
enable me to do so. Wait here a moment, I will be back immediately.
I will prepare myself for the trip, and then give me the passport."
"She will lose her life in the attempt," said Mrs. Wallner,
mournfully, after she had hastened out of the room. "Alas! alas! I
shall lose my husband, my sons, and my daughter too! And all has
been in vain, for the Tyrol is ruined, and we have to suffer these
dreadful misfortunes without having accomplished anything!"
"And the enemy acts with merciless cruelty in the country," said
Siebermeier, furiously; "he sets whole villages on fire if he thinks
that one of the fugitives is concealed here; he imposes on the
people heavy war-taxes, which we are unable to pay; and if we say we
have no money, he takes our cattle and other property from us. Wails
and lamentations are to be heard throughout the valley; that is all
we have gained by our bloody struggle!"
At this moment the door opened, and Eliza came in, not however in
her own dress, but in the costume of a Tyrolese peasant-lad.
"Heavens! she has put on her brother William's Sunday clothes,"
cried her mother, with a mournful smile; "and they sit as well on
her as if they had been made for her."
"Now, Siebermeier," said Eliza, holding out her hand to him, "give
me the passport. The moon is rising now, and I must go,"
"But listen, my daughter, how the wind howls!" cried her mother, in
deep anguish. "It beats against the windows as if to warn us not to
go out. Oh, Lizzie, my last joy, do not leave me! I have no one left
but you; stay with me, my Lizzie, do not leave your poor mother! You
will die in the attempt, Lizzie! Stay here; have mercy upon me, and
"I must go to father," replied Eliza. disengaging herself gently
from her mother's arms. "Give me the passport, friend Siebermeier."
"You are a brave girl," said Siebermeier, profoundly moved; "the
good God and the Holy Virgin will protect you. There, take the
passport; you are worthy to carry it to your father."
"And I shall carry it to him or die on the road," cried Eliza,
enthusiastically, waving the paper. "Now, dear mother, do not weep,
but give me your blessing!"
She knelt down before her mother, who had laid her hand on her head.
"Lord, my God," she exclaimed, solemnly, "protect her graciously in
her pious effort to save her father. Take your mother's blessing, my
Lizzie, and think that her heart and love accompany you."
She bent over her, and imprinted a long kiss on her daughter's
"I must go now, it is high time," said Eliza, making a violent
effort to restrain her tears. "Farewell, friend Siebermeier; God and
the saints will reward you for the service you have rendered us."
"My best reward will be to learn that Wallner is safe," said
Siebermeier, shaking hands with her.
"Now, a last kiss, dearest mother," said Eliza. She encircled her
mothers neck with both her arms, and kissed her tenderly. "Pray for
me and love me." She whispered; "and if I should not come back, if I
should lose my life, mother, write it to Elza and to HIM, and write
that I died with love and fidelity in my heart. Farewell!"
She disengaged herself quickly and hastened out of the room,
regardless of the despairing cries of her mother, and not even
looking back to her. It was high time for her to set out.
She was in the street now. The snow rushed furiously into her face;
the bowling storm dashed madly against her cheeks until they became
very sore, but the moon was in the heavens and lighted her path. It
was the same path which she had ascended with Ulrich when saving
him. She was alone now, but her courage and her trust in God were
with her; strengthened and refreshed by her love for her father, she
ascended the steep mountain path. At times the piercing wind
rendered her breathless and seized her with such violence that she
had to cling to a projecting rock in order not to fall from the
barrow path into the abyss yawning at her feet. At times avalanches
rolled close to her with thundering noise into the depth and
enveloped her in a cloud of snow; but the moon shed her silver light
on her path, and Eliza looked up courageously.
Forgetful of her own danger, she prayed in her heart only, "God
grant that I may save my father! Let me not die before reaching
Anthony Wallner sat in his lonely Alpine hut on the height near the
village of Ober-Peischlag, and listened to the storm, which howled
so loudly to-night that the but shook and he was unable to sleep on
his couch of straw. He had lighted his lamp, and sat musingly at the
pine table, leaning his head on his hand, and brooding mournfully
over his dreary future. How long would he have to remain herein his
open grave? How lone would he be chased yet, like a wild beast, from
mountain to mountain? How long would he be obliged yet to lead an
idle and unprofitable life in this frozen solitude, exposed to the
fury of the elements, and in constant dread of losing this miserable
life? These were the questions that he asked himself; intense rage
seized his heart, tears of bitter grief filled his eyes--not
however, at his own misfortunes, but at the miseries of his
"What am I suffering for? What did I fight and risk my life for?
What did we all shed our blood for? What did our brethren die for on
the field of battle? The fatherland was not saved, the French
defeated us, and our emperor abandoned us. We were brave defenders
of our country, and now they call us criminals; we intended to save
the fatherland, and now they call us rebels and traitors! The
emperor gives us away like a piece of merchandise, regardless of his
sacred pledges, and the French are chasing us as though we were
thieves and murderers! And Thou sufferest it, God in heaven? Thou--
Hark! did not that sound like a shot? Is it the wind that is
knocking so loudly at my door?"
He sprang to his feet, took up his rifle, cocked it, and aimed at
There was another knocking at the door; no, it was assuredly not the
storm that was rapping and hammering at it so regularly. No, no, it
was the enemy! He had spied him out, he had discovered his track, he
had come to seize him!
"I will sell my life dearly," murmured Anthony Wallner, grimly. "I
will shoot down the first man who opens the door; then I will force
a passage through the ranks with the butt-end of my rifle, and--"
"Father," cried a voice outside, "father, open the door!"
"Great God!" murmured Wallner, "did not that sound like my Lizzie
calling me? But that is impossible; it cannot be she; she cannot
have ascended the mountain-path; the storm would have killed her,
"Father, dear father, pray open the door," shouted the voice again,
and somebody shook the door.
Wallner laid down his rifle and hastened to the door. "May God
protect me if they deceive me, but I believe it is Lizzie."
He threw open the door; the little Tyrolese lad rushed in, embraced
him tenderly, kissed him with his cold lips, and whispered, "My
father! thank God, I am with you!"
"It is Lizzie!" cried Wallner, in a ringing voice. "She has come
tome through night and storm! It is my daughter, my dear, dear
daughter! Oh, joy of my heart, how were you able to get up here in
this terrible night? No man would have dared to attempt it."
"But I dared it, father, for I am your child, and love you."
"You love me, and I thank God!" he exclaimed, folding her tenderly
and anxiously to his heart; "I thank God for saving you, and--"
He faltered and burst into tears, which he did not try to conceal.
He wept aloud and bitterly, and Eliza wept with him, and neither of
them knew whether they wept for joy or grief.
Eliza was the first to overcome her emotion. "Father," she said,
raising her head quickly, "the enemy is on your track, and early to-
morrow morning the French are going to occupy the mountain in order
to arrest you. That is the reason why I have come up to you, for you
must flee this very hour."
"Flee?" he cried, mournfully. "How can I? The first Bavarian or
French gendarme on the frontier, who meets me and asks me for my
passport, will arrest me. I have no passport."
"Here is a passport," said Eliza, joyfully, handing him the paper,
"Siebermeier sends it to you."
"The faithful friend! Yes, that is help in need. Now I will try with
God's aid to escape. You, Lizzie, will return to mother, and bring
her a thousand greetings from me; and as soon as I am across the
frontier, you shall hear from me."
"I must go with you, father," said Eliza, smiling. "The passport is
valid for Siebermeier, the carpet-dealer, and his son. Now you see,
dear father, I am your son, and shall flee with you."
"No," cried her father, in dismay; "no, you shall never do so,
Lizzie. I must journey through the wildest and most secluded Alps,
and you would die in the attempt to follow me, Lizzie."
"And even though I knew that I should die, father, I should go with
you," said Lizzie, joyfully. "You cannot flee without me, and I do
not love my life very dearly if it cannot be useful to you, dear
father. Therefore, say no more about it, and do not reject my offer
any longer; for if you do, it will be in vain, because I shall
follow you for all that, and no road is too precipitous for me when
I see you before the. Therefore, come, dear father; do not hesitate
any longer, but come with your little boy. You cannot flee without
me; therefore, let us try it courageously together."
"Well, I will do so, my brave little boy; I believe I must comply
with your wish," exclaimed Wallner, folding her tenderly to his
heart. "You shall accompany me, you shall save your father's life.
Oh, it would be glorious if God should grant me the satisfaction of
being indebted for my life to my dear daughter Lizzie!"
"Come, now, father, come; every minute's delay increases the
"I am ready, Lizzie. Let me only see if my rifle is in good order
and put on my powder-pouch."
"You cannot take your rifle with you, nor your powder-pouch either.
You are no longer the brave commander of the sharpshooters of
Windisch-Matrey, but Siebermeier, the carpet-dealer, a very
peaceable man, who does not take his rifle and powder-pouch with him
on his travels."
"You are right, Lizzie. But it is hard indeed to flee without arms,
and to be defenceless even in case of an attack by the enemy. And I
do not want to let my rifle fall into the hands of the French when
they come up here. I know a hole in the rock close by; I will take
it there and conceal it till my return. Come, now, Lizzie, and let
us attempt, with God's aid, to escape from the enemy."
He wrapped himself in his cloak, took the rifle, and both left the
Day was now dawning: some rosy streaks appeared already in the
eastern horizon, and the summits of the glaciers were faintly
illuminated. Eliza saw it, but she did not rejoice this time at the
majestic beauty of the sunrise; it made her only uneasy and sad, and
while her father concealed his rifle carefully in the hole in the
rock, Eliza glanced around anxiously, murmuring to herself: "They
intend to start at daybreak. It is now after daybreak; the sun has
risen, and they have doubtless set out already to arrest him."
"Now come," said her father, returning to her; "we have a long
journey before us to-day, for we must pass the Alps by hunters'
paths up to the Isel-Tauerkamm. We shall pass the night at the inn
there: in the morning we shall continue the journey, and, if it
please God, we shall reach the Austrian frontier within three
And they descended the mountain, hand in hand and with firm steps,
and entered the forest.
Nothing was to be heard all around; not a sound broke the peaceful
stillness of awaking nature; only the wind howled and whistled, and
caused the branches of the trees to creak. The sun had risen higher
and higher, and shed already its golden rays through the forest.
"I would we had passed through the thicket and reached the heights
again," said Anthony Wallner, in a low voice. "We were obliged to
descend in order to pass round the precipice and the steep slope; we
shall afterwards ascend the mountain again and remain on the
heights. But if the soldiers from Windisch-Matrey meet us here, we
are lost, for they know me and will not pay any attention to my
"God will not permit them to meet us," sighed Lizzie, accelerating
her steps. They kept silent a long while, and not a sound was to be
heard around them. All at once both gave a start, for they had heard
the noise of heavy footsteps and the clang of arms. They had just
passed through the clearing in the forest and were now again close
to the thicket, by the side of which there was a small chapel with a
large crucifix. They turned and looked back.
"The enemy! the enemy!" cried Anthony Wallner, pointing to the
soldiers who were just stepping from the other side of the forest.
"Lizzie, we are lost! Ah, and I have not even got my rifle! I must
allow myself to be seized without resistance!"
"No, we are not yet lost, father; look at the chapel. Maybe they
leave not yet seen us. Let us enter the chapel quickly. There is
room enough for us two under the altar."
Without giving her father time to reply, Eliza hastened into the
chapel and disappeared behind the altar. In a second Wallner was
with her, and, clinging close to each other and with stifled breath,
they awaited the arrival of the enemy.
Now they heard footsteps approaching rapidly and voices shouting out
aloud. They came nearer and nearer, and were now close to the
chapel. It was a Bavarian patrol, and the two, therefore, could
understand every word they spoke, and every word froze their hearts.
The Bavarians had seen them they were convinced that they must be
close by; they exhorted each other to look diligently for the
fugitives, and alluded to the reward which awaited them in case they
should arrest Anthony Wallner.
Both lay under the altar with hearts throbbing impetuously, and
almost senseless from fear and anguish; Eliza murmuring a prayer
with quivering lips; Anthony Wallner clinching his fists, and firmly
resolved to sell his life dearly and defend himself and his child to
the last drop of blood.
The enemies were now close to them; they entered the chapel and
advanced to the altar. Eliza, pale and almost fainting from terror,
leaned her head on her father's shoulder.
The Bavarians struck now with the butt-ends of their muskets against
the closed front-side of the altar; it gave a dull, hard sound, for
the fugitives filled the cavity.
"There is no one in there, for the altar is not hollow," said one of
the soldiers. The footsteps thereupon moved away from the altar, and
soon all was silent in the chapel. Wallner and Lizzie heard only
footsteps and voices outside, they moved away farther and farther,
and after a few seconds not a sound broke the silence.