Part 2 out of 11
brave and illustrious man, before whom his emperor must humbly stand
aside. I cannot take the fly-flap and strike his writhing limbs as I
do this miserable fly, the little Archduke Charles, that is writhing
on the floor there. So, now you are dead, confounded little brother
Charles, and we will hunt for your brother John. See, see, there he
sits on the wall, cleaning his wings and making himself tidy and
pretty. There! There is an affectionate blow from your imperial
brother, and you are done for. Now you will never fly to YOUR
mountaineers and BRING them freedom and salvation. You will, on the
contrary, stick to the wall of your emperor's room, and learn that
your brother is your master. Why, this is most amusing sport to day!
I shall not stop before killing a dozen Archdukes Charles and John!"
And Francis hunted eagerly on the walls and the furniture for other
flies, which he pursued and killed with his fly-flap, always
applying the name of Charles to one, and that of John to the next.
In the excitement of this strange sport he had not noticed that,
soon after he entered the cabinet, the door had opened, and
Counsellor von Hudelist had come in. Francis did not remember at
that moment that he had given express orders to Hudelist to re-enter
the cabinet as soon as he heard the emperor return to it; he had
fixed his thoughts exclusively on the cruel pleasure of killing the
flies Charles and John, and Hudelist took good care not to disturb
him in this pleasant pastime. He stood leaning against the wall
close to the door; his small, flashing eyes followed every motion of
the emperor with rapt attention, and whenever Francis, on killing a
fly, pronounced the name of either of his brothers in a triumphant
tone, a malicious smile overspread the pale and ugly face of the
Now, however, Francis, in hunting for flies, had arrived at the
extreme end of the room. Until then, his back had been turned to
Hudelist. If he should turn now and continue his sport on the other
side of the room, he would discover him, and be disagreeably
surprised at his presence. Therefore, before the emperor turned,
Hudelist opened once more the door near which he was standing, and
closed it rather noisily.
The emperor turned and asked gayly: "Well, what is it, Mr.
"Your Majesty ordered me to return to the cabinet as soon as you
should be back."
"But I returned some time ago," said Francis, casting a distrustful,
searching glance on Hudelist.
"Pardon me, your majesty, I believed I heard you only just now close
the door, and had until then vainly waited for some sound in the
cabinet," replied Hudelist, with a perfectly innocent expression of
countenance. "The second door separating the conference-room from
your majesty's cabinet is so heavily lined with cushions as to
render it almost impervious to sound, and I beg your pardon again
for not having heard despite the most eager attention."
The emperor's face had again entirely cleared up. "Never mind," he
said; "I am glad that those in the adjoining room cannot hear what
is going on here. I like to have ears for all, but do not like
anybody to have ears for me. Now let me hear what you have brought
for me from Paris."
"Above all things, your majesty, I succeeded in obtaining for a
considerable sum of money, the receipt for making Spanish sealing-
wax, from a Spanish refugee, who was formerly employed at the royal
sealing-wax factory of Madrid, and was perfectly familiar with the
formula for making it. Your majesty knows that this receipt is a
secret, and that the officers and workmen employed at the factory
must even swear an oath not to divulge it."
"And you obtained the receipt nevertheless, and brought it with
you?" inquired the emperor.
"Here it is, your majesty."
Francis hastily seized the paper which Hudelist handed to him with a
"See, see, this is a very kind service which you have rendered me,
and I shall be grateful for it!" he exclaimed. "You shall test the
receipt with me alone; we will try it right away. But hold on; I
must first tell you some grave news. We shall declare war. I have
already told the French ambassador to leave Vienna to-day, and
Metternich can come home too. I will hold a council of the ministers
and generals to-day. Tell the functionaries at the chancery to
inform the ministers, archdukes, and generals that I wish to see
them in the conference-room at four. Make haste, and then come to my
laboratory. We will try the Spanish receipt."
THE PERFORMANCE OF "THE CREATION."
A brilliant festival was to take place to-night in the large aula of
the Vienna University. All the composers, musicians, dilettanti, and
amateurs of Vienna, had joyously consented to participate in it. The
most distinguished names of the aristocracy and the artistic circles
of Vienna were at the head of the committee of arrangements. Among
those names were those of the Princes Lichnowsky and Lichtenstein,
the Countesses Kaunitz and Spielmann, of Beethoven and Salieri,
Kreutzer and Clementi, and finally, those of the poets Collin and
Every one wished to participate in this festival, which was to
render homage to the veteran German composer, the great Joseph
Haydn, on the occasion of the twenty-fifth performance of the
maestro's great work, "The Creation." Ten years had elapsed since
the first performance of "The Creation" at Vienna, and already the
sublime composition had made the tour of Europe, and had been
performed amid the most enthusiastic applause in London and Paris,
in Amsterdam and St. Petersburg, in Berlin, and all the large and
small cities of Germany. Everywhere it had excited transports of
admiration; everywhere delighted audiences had greeted with
rapturous enthusiasm this beautiful music, so full of holy ardor and
childlike piety, this great work of the German composer, Joseph
To-day the twenty-fifth performance of "The Creation" was to take
place at Vienna, and Joseph Haydn himself was to be present at the
concert. The committee of arrangements had invited him, and he had
accepted the invitation. Although his seventy-seven years were
resting heavily on his head, and had paralyzed his strength, be
could not withstand the honorable request of his friends and
admirers, and he had replied with a touching smile to the committee
of arrangements, whose delegates had conveyed the invitation to him
"I shall come to take leave of the world with my 'Creation,' and bid
a last farewell to my dear Viennese. YOU will often yet sing my
'Creation,' but I shall hear it for the last time!"
"For the last time!" These were the words which had thrilled all the
friends and admirers of the maestro, and filled them with the ardent
desire to greet him once more, and render him homage for the last
time. For all felt and knew that Haydn had spoken the truth, and
that his end was drawing near. All, therefore, longed to take part
in this last triumph of the composer of "The Creation," whom death
had already touched with its inexorable finger.
Hence, there was a perfect jam in front of the university building;
the equipages of the high nobility formed two immense lines down the
long street; like a black, surging stream, rising from moment to
moment, the part of the audience arriving on foot moved along the
houses and between the double line of carriages toward the entrance
of the building. Thousands had vainly applied for admission at the
ticket-office; there was room only for fifteen hundred persons in
the aula and the adjoining rooms, and perhaps as many thousands had
come to hear the concert. As they could not be admitted into the
hall, they remained in the street in front of the building; as they
could not hear Haydn's music, they wished at least to see his face
and cheer him on his arrival at the door.
But there was a surging crowd also in the festively-decorated
university hall. All had come in their holiday attire, and joy and
profound emotion beamed from all faces. Friends shook hands and
greeted each other with radiant eyes; and even those who did not
know each other exchanged kindly greetings and pleasant smiles on
seating themselves side by side, and looked at each other as though
they were friends and acquaintances, and not entire strangers.
For all felt the great importance of this hour; all felt themselves
Germans, owing to the homage which they were to render to the German
maestro and to German music; and all knew that this festival would
be looked upon beyond the Rhine as a hostile demonstration of the
Germans against French pride and arrogance. They wished to show to
France that, although Germany was dismembered, the heart of the
Germans throbbed for Germany and German art, and that they did not
feel at all alarmed at the grandiloquent threats of the Emperor of
the French, but yielded with undisturbed equanimity to the enjoyment
of German art. While the threatening words of the Emperor Napoleon
were resounding, like ringing war-fanfares, from Paris, the Viennese
desired to respond to him by the beautiful notes of sublime music;
and, regardless of the growls of the lion beyond the Rhine, they
wished to delight in the soul-stirring harmonies of "The Creation."
All preparations were now completed. The hall was all ablaze with
the wax-lights which were beaming down from those gigantic lustres,
and whose rays were reflected in the large mirrors covering the
walls. The imperial box was splendidly festooned with rare flowers,
and decorated with carpets and gilt candelabra, whose enormous wax-
lights filled the interior of the spacious box with broad daylight.
Opposite the imperial box, on the other side of the hall, rose the
large tribune destined for an orchestra of eighty performers and a
choir of one hundred singers. All the latter, too, were in joyous
spirits; all were animated to-day, not by the envy and jealousy so
often to be found among artistes, but by the one great desire to
contribute their share to the homage to be rendered to German art.
They did not wish to-day to exhibit themselves and their artistic
skill, but desired only to render homage to the music of the great
maestro, and to German art.
And now the hour was at hand when the concert was to commence. The
audience had taken their seats, the orchestra ceased tuning their
instruments, the singers were in readiness, and the committee of
arrangements had gone down to the street-door to await Haydn's
The door of the imperial box opened at this moment, and the emperor
and empress entered, followed by the archdukes and their suites. To-
day for the first time the audience took no notice of these august
persons; they did not rise to greet the imperial couple and the
archdukes. No one had perceived their arrival, for all eyes were
steadfastly fixed on the large folding-doors by which Joseph Haydn
was to enter the hall.
He had been expected already for some time, and the audience began
to whisper anxiously: "Will he, perhaps, not come, after all? Will
his physician not permit him to go to the concert because the
excitement might be injurious to him?"
But all at once the silence was broken by a noise in the street,
which sounded like the roar of the stormy ocean; it rent the air,
and caused the windows of the hall to rattle. And the audience was
joyfully moved; all faces became radiant, all turned their eyes
toward the door.
Now this door opened, and a beautiful though strange group appeared
in it. In its midst, on the shoulders of eight strong young men,
arose an easy chair, festooned with flowers, and in this chair sat
the small, bent form of an old man. His face was pale and wan, and
in his forehead the seventy-seven years of his life had drawn deep
furrows; but from his large blue eyes beamed the eternal fire of
youth, and there was something childlike and touching in the smile
of his mouth. On the right side of his easy-chair was seen the
imposing form of a gentleman, plainly dressed, but with a head full
of majestic dignity, his face gloomy and wild, his high forehead,
surrounded by dense dishevelled hair, his eyes now gleaming with
sombre fires, now glancing mildly and amiably. It was Louis von
Beethoven, whom Haydn liked to call his pupil, and whose fame had at
that time already penetrated far beyond the frontiers of Austria. On
the left side of the easy-chair was seen the fine, expressive face
of Salieri, who liked to call himself Gluck's pupil; and side by
side with these two walked Kreutzer and Clementi, and the other
members of the committee of arrangements.
Thundering cheers greeted their appearance; the whole audience rose;
even the Empress Ludovica started up from her gilded chair and bowed
smilingly; and the Archduke John advanced close to the railing of
the box to greet again and again with pleasant nods of his head and
waves of his hand Joseph Haydn, thus borne along above the heads of
the audience. But the Emperor Francis, who was standing by the side
of his consort, looked with a somewhat sneering expression on the
crowd below, and, turning to the empress, he said: "Perhaps my dear
Viennese may consider Haydn on his easy-chair yonder their emperor,
and I myself may abdicate and go home. They did not even look at us
to-night, and are raising such a fuss now as though God Almighty had
entered the ball!"
In effect, the exultation of the audience increased at every step
which the procession advanced, and endless cheers accompanied the
composer to the seat which had been prepared for him on an estrade
in front of the orchestra.
Here two beautiful ladies of high rank came to meet him, and
presented to him, on cushions of gold-embroidered velvet, poems
written by Collin and Carpani and printed on silken ribbons. At the
same time many hundred copies of these poems flittered through the
hall, and all shouted joyously, "Long live Joseph Haydn, the German
maestro!" And the orchestra played a ringing flourish, and the
cheers of the audience rent the air again and again.
Joseph Haydn, quite overcome, his eyes filled with tears, leaned his
head against the back of his chair. A mortal pallor overspread his
cheeks, and his hands trembled as though he had the fever.
"Maestro, dear, dear maestro!" said the Princess Esterhazy, bending
over him tenderly, "are you unwell? You tremble, and are so pale!
Are you unwell?"
"Oh, no, no," said Haydn, with a gentle smile, "my soul is in
ecstasies at this hour, which is a precious reward for a long life
of arduous toils. My soul is in ecstasies, but it lives in such a
weak and wretched shell; and because the soul is all ablaze with the
fires of rapturous delight, the whole warmth has entered it, and the
poor mortal shell is cold and trembling."
The Princess Esterhazy took impetuously from her shoulders the
costly Turkish shawl in which her form was enveloped; she spread it
out before Haydn and wrapped it carefully round his feet. Her
example was followed immediately by the Princesses Lichtenstein and
Kinsky, and the Countesses Kaunitz and Spielmann. They doffed their
beautiful ermine furs and their Turkish and Persian shawls, and
wrapped them around the old composer, and transformed them into
cushions which they placed under his head and his arms, and blankets
with which they covered him. [Footnote: See "Zeitgenossen," third
series, vol. vi., p. 32]
Haydn allowed them smilingly to do so, and thanked, with glances of
joyful emotion, the beautiful ladies who manifested so much tender
solicitude for him.
"Why can I not die now?" he said to himself in a low voice. "Why
does not Death kiss my lips at this glorious hour of my triumph? Oh,
come, Death! waft me blissfully into the other world, for in this
world I am useless henceforth; my strength is gone, and my head has
no more ideas. I live only in and on the past!"
"And yet you live for all time to come," said the Princess
Esterhazy; enthusiastically, "and while German art and German music
are loved and honored, Joseph Haydn will never die and never be
Hushed now was every sound. Salieri had taken his seat as conductor
of the concert, and signed now to the orchestra.
The audience listened in breathless silence to the tumultuous notes
depicting in so masterly a manner the struggle of light and
darkness, the chaos of the elements. The struggle of the elements
becomes more and more furious, and the music depicts it in sombre,
violent notes, when suddenly the horizon brightens, the clouds are
rent, the dissonant sounds pass into a sublime harmony, and in
glorious notes of the most blissful exultation resound through the
struggling universe the grand, redeeming words, "Let there be
light!" And all join in the rapturous chorus, and repeat in blissful
concord, "Let there be light!"
The audience, carried away by the grandeur and irresistible power of
these notes, burst into long-continued applause.
Haydn took no notice of it; he heard only his music; his soul was
entirely absorbed in it, and lifting both his arms to heaven, he
said devoutly and humbly, "It comes from above!" [Footnote:
The audience had heard these loud and enthusiastic words; it
applauded no longer, but looked in reverent silence toward the aged
composer, who, in the midst of his most glorious triumph, rendered
honor to God alone, and bowed piously and modestly to the work of
his own genius.
The performance proceeded. But Joseph Haydn hardly heard much of the
music. His head leaned against the back of the chair; his face, lit
up by a blissful smile, was deathly pale; his eyes cast fervent
glances of gratitude toward heaven, and seemed, in their ecstatic
gaze, to see the whole heavens opened.
"Maestro," said the Princess Esterhazy, when the first part of the
performance was ended, "you must no longer remain here, but return
to your quiet home."
"Yes, I shall return to the quiet home which awaits us all," said
Haydn, mildly, "and I feel sensibly that I shall remain no longer
among men. A sweet dream seems to steal over me. Let the performers
commence the second part, and my soul will be wafted to heaven on
the wings of my music."
But the Princess Esterhazy beckoned to his friends. "Take him away,"
she said, "the excitement will kill him, if he stays any longer."
They approached his chair and begged permission to escort him home.
Haydn nodded his assent silently and smilingly, and his eyes glanced
dreamily round the hall.
Suddenly he gave a start as if in great terror, and rose so
impetuously that the furs and Turkish shawls, which had been wrapped
round him, fell to the floor. His face crimsoned as if in the light
of the setting sun; his eyes looked up with a radiant expression to
the box yonder--to his emperor, whom he had loved so long and
ardently, for whom he had wept in the days of adversity, for whom he
had prayed and sung at all times. Now he saw him who, in his eyes,
represented fatherland, home, and human justice; he felt that it was
the last time his eyes would behold him, and he wished to bid
farewell at this hour to the world, his fatherland, and his emperor.
With a vigorous hand he pushed back the friends who would have held
him and replaced him in his chair. Now he was no longer a weak and
decrepit old man; he felt strong and active, and he hastened forward
with a rapid step through the orchestra toward the conductor's seat
and the piano in front of it. He laid his hands, which trembled no
longer, on the keys, and struck a full concord. He turned his face
toward the imperial box; his eyes beamed with love and exultation,
and he began to play his favorite hymn with impressive enthusiasm--
the hymn which he had composed ten years ago in the days of
Austria's adversity, and which he had sung every day since then,--
the hymn, "Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser, unsern guten Kaiser
Franz!" And the audience rose and gazed with profound emotion upon
Joseph Haydn's gleaming face, and then up to the emperor, who was
standing smilingly in his box, and the empress, from whose eyes two
large tears rolled down her pale cheeks; and with one accord the
vast crowd commenced singing:
"Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser,
Unsern guten Kaiser Franz!
Lange lebe Franz der Kaiser
In des Glueckes hellem Kranz!
Ihm erbluehen Lorbeerreiser,
Wo er geht, zum Ehrenkranz.
"God preserve the emperor
Francis, our good emperor!
Long live Francis, brightest gem
In fair Fortune's diadem
O'er him see the laurel wave,
Honoring the true, the brave!
Haydn's hands dropped exhausted from the keys; his form rocked to
and fro, and, half fainting, he sank back into the arms of Salieri
The audience paused; all forgot the imperial hymn, and looked only
at the venerable old maestro, whom Salieri and Kreutzer lowered now
softly into the easy-chair, which had been brought to them.
"Take me home, dear ones," he said, faintly, "sing on, my
'Creation'; my soul will remain with you, but my body can no longer
stay. Old age has broken its strength. Farewell, farewell, all of
you! My soul will always be among you when you sing my music; my
body will go, but the soul will remain. Farewell!"
And the votaries of art who had conveyed him to the hall now placed
the maestro's chair again on their shoulders, and carried it slowly
through the hall toward the entrance.
The audience stood in silent reverence and looked up to Haydn's
passing form, and durst not break this profound stillness by
uttering a sound. They bade farewell to the universally beloved and
revered maestro only by bowing their heads to him and shedding tears
of emotion--farewell for evermore!
The solemn procession had now arrived at the door. Joseph Haydn
lifted his weary head once more; his spirit gleamed once more in his
eyes; an expression of unutterable love beamed from his mild face;
he stretched out his arms toward the orchestra as if to bless it,
and greeted it with his smile, with the nodding of his head, and the
tears which filled his eyes. [Footnote: "Zeitgenossen," third
series, vol iv., p. 33]
A low rustling and sobbing passed through the hall; no one was
courageous enough to clap his hands; all hearts were profoundly
moved, all eyes filled with tears.
But now he disappeared, and the door closed behind Joseph Haydn. The
German maestro had to-day celebrated his apotheosis amidst the
enthusiastic people of Vienna. Life had dedicated to him the laurel-
wreath which usually only death grants to poets and artists.
The Audience was still silent, when all at once a powerful voice
exclaimed: "Let us sing the second verse of Haydn's favorite hymn--
the second verse of 'Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser!'"
"Yes, yes," shouted all, enthusiastically, "the second verse! the
And hundreds of voices shouted to the orchestra beseechingly,
imperiously, thunderingly, that it should play the accompaniment;
and the musicians complied with this tumultuous request.
The audience expressed their gratitude by an outburst of applause,
and sang thereupon the second verse:
"Lass von seiner Fahne Spitzen
Strahlen Sieg and Furchtbarkeit
Lass in seinem Rathe sitzen
Weisheit, Klugheit, Redlichkeit,
Und mit seiner Hoheit Blitzen
Schalten our Gerechtigkeit.
Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser,
Unsern guten Kaiser Franz!"
"Before his banner floating high
Let victory shout and foemen fly!
In his connsels let preside
Wisdom, prudence, noble pride!
Homely justice delling find!
God preserve the emperor,
Francis, our good emperor!"]
The emperor bowed his thanks to the audience, the orchestra
commenced again playing the air, and the audience sang anew:
"Lass von seiner Fahne Spitzen
Strahlen Sieg und Furchtbarkeit!"
And arms and hands were lifted here and there beseechingly toward
the emperor; in vain the orchestra tried to play on; the audience,
with rare unanimity, as if seized with one sentiment and one wish,
sang again and again:
"Lass von seiner Fahne Spitzen
Strahlen Sieg und Furchtbarkeit!"
And then all shouted loudly, beseechingly, and withal angrily and
"War! war! Lass von seiner Fahne
Spitzen strahlen Sieg and Furchtbarkeit!"
The excitement of the audience grew constantly bolder and more
impetuous. The men left their seats and crowded around the imperial
bog, repeating again and again the words
"Lass von seiner Fahne Spitzen
Strahlen Sieg and Furchtbarkeit!"
The emperor withdrew in confusion into the background of his box,
and whispered quickly a few words to the Archduke John. The archduke
advanced to the railing of the box, and commanded silence by waving
his hand to the audience.
The singers paused immediately, and amidst the breathless silence
which ensued, the Archduke John shouted in a loud and powerful
voice: "The emperor announces to his dear Viennese that he is
determined to submit no longer to the arrogance of France, and that
war is irrevocably resolved on."
A cry of rapture burst from all lips; all shouted exultingly, "War!
war! We shall at length bid defiance to the arrogance of the French
emperor! We shall have war with France; we shall avenge the wrongs
which we have suffered so long, and set bounds to the encroachments
And friends and acquaintances greeted each other with radiant eyes
and glowing cheeks; neighbors, entirely unknown to each other, shook
hands and said, smilingly: "Now at length we shall have war! At
length we shall remove from our German honor the stains with which
France has sullied it. At length we shall have war, and God will
The ringing notes of the orchestra interrupted the animated
conversation of the excited audience. Salieri had taken his seat
again, he raised his baton, and the second part of "The Creation"
The streets of Vienna were silent and deserted; all houses were
dark; everywhere the note of life had died away, and only here and
there a hackney-coach was heard to drive slowly through the lonely
streets, or a belated wanderer was seen to return home with a weary
Vienna slept and dreamed of the welcome news which, despite the late
hour, had spread like wild-fire from the concert-hall through the
city--of the joyful intelligence that war against France was
resolved on, and that the time was at length at hand when the wrongs
perpetrated by Napoleon were to be avenged.
Vienna slept and dreamed; only in the wing of the imperial palace
where lay the rooms occupied by the Archduke John, the lights had
not yet been extinguished, and at times dark figures were seen
moving to and fro behind the windows.
The Archduke John did not sleep yet, but he had already dismissed
Conrad, his valet de chambre; he had permitted the other footmen to
retire from the anteroom to their bedchambers, and had then himself
locked the door of the outer anteroom.
"I do not trust Conrad, my valet de chambre," he said to Count
Nugent, who was with him in his cabinet; "it is he, doubtless who
has been placed as a 'guardian angel' by my side, and is to report
regularly all I am doing."
"Your highness ought to discharge the fellow forthwith," exclaimed
Count Nugent, indignantly.
"I shall take good care not to do so," said John, smiling; "on the
contrary, I shall try to keep Conrad as long as possible in my
service, for I know him, and shall be able to mystify him. I shall
always have to suffer a spy by my side, for the love and solicitude
of my imperial brother will never leave me for a single moment
without close surveillance; and Conrad is less distasteful to me
than another spy probably would be. Still, I did not want him to
report any thing about the visitors who will be here to-night, and
therefore I dismissed him for the night."
"But he will probably stand in the street to watch his master's
windows," said Nugent, with a shrug; "and the shadows which he will
see he may distort into all sorts of spectres which will be
mentioned in the emperor's police report to-morrow morning."
"Oh, I am not afraid of that at this hour," exclaimed John. "The
emperor knows that I am to receive the delegates of the Tyrolese; I
myself told him so to-day, and he approves of it. But harm might
befall my Tyrolese at their homes, if their plans were discovered
previous to their deliverance from the Bavarian yoke. But hush, did
you not hear a rustling sound in the corridor?"
"Yes, I did; it is drawing near--it is at the door now, and--
somebody raps already."
"Our friends are there," exclaimed John, hastening to the door, and
drawing back the bolt.
The archduke was not mistaken; his friends were there, and entered
his cabinet now by the secret door. They were headed by Baron von
Hormayr in his brilliant gold-embroidered uniform, which rendered
doubly conspicuous the beauty of his slender yet firmly-knit form,
and the noble expression of his prepossessing, youthful face. He was
followed by three Tyrolese, clad in their national costume, and
holding their rifles in their arms.
The first of them was a man about forty years old. His frame was
Herculean, his shoulders broad, his strength immense; his head was
covered with dense black hair, his bronzed face was radiant with
kind-heartedness and good-humor. His dress was the common habit of
the country, with some trifling variations: a large black hat, with
a broad brim, black ribbons, and a dark curling feather; a green
jacket, red waistcoat, broad green braces crossed on the breast; a
black leathern girdle, adorned, according to the Tyrolese custom,
with all sorts of ivory and other ornaments; black breeches, red
stockings, and black shoes with buckles. About his neck was always
to be seen a silver crucifix fastened to a heavy gold chain, and
over it, down to the girdle, flowed his large black beard, which
imparted a strange, fantastic air to his whole appearance. This man
was Andreas Hofer, the innkeeper of Passeyr, to whom the Italian
Tyrolese, on account of his long beard, had given the name of
The second of the Tyrolese who entered the archduke's cabinet was a
man of no less imposing appearance, dressed entirely like Andreas
Hofer; only the long beard was wanting to him, and, instead of a
black hat, he wore the pointed green Tyrolese hat, adorned with
hunting ornaments. His face, less good-natured and serene than that
of his friend, was expressive of energy and resolution; courage and
shrewdness beamed from his black eyes, and a peculiar expression of
defiance and scorn played around his full lips. This was Joseph
Speckbacher, known by every inhabitant of the northern Tyrol as "the
He was followed by a third Tyrolese, as proud and strong, as robust
and fine-looking, as his two companions. It was Anthony Wallner, the
innkeeper of Windisch-Matrey, and, like Speckbacher, Hofer's
The archduke advanced to meet the Tyrolese, and shook hands with
each of them.
"Welcome, my Tyrolese, welcome!" he said, in a deeply-moved voice;
"may God and the Holy Virgin grant that no harm result, from your
visit to me! You know that I have never ceased to love you, and that
when, in the year 1805,I had to bid farewell to Andreas Hofer and
the dear Tyrol, my heart almost broke with grief and despair."
"Look, look!" exclaimed Andreas Hofer, turning with a radiant smile
to his two friends; "he is indeed the same man who bade us farewell
at that time in Brunecken, and was not ashamed of embracing Andreas
Hofer and shedding tears on his shoulder for the poor sacrificed
"And who is glad to-day to be able to embrace Andreas Hofer again,"
said the archduke, encircling the Herculean form of the Tyrolese
innkeeper with his arms. "But I will shed no tears to-day, Andreas,
for I hope the time of tears is over, and you have come to tell me
so, to bring me love-greetings from the Tyrolese, and the hope of
better times. Say, you three brave men from the Tyrol, Andreas
Hofer, Joseph Speckbacher, Anthony Wallner, is it not so? Have you
not come to tell me that the Tyrol is longing for her emperor and
desirous of getting rid of the Bavarians?"
"Yes, we have come to say this to our dear John," exclaimed Andreas
"We have come to ask if Austria does not intend to call upon her
Tyrol to rise and fight under her banners," said Joseph Speckbacher.
"We have come to ask our Archduke John if he will help us with his
troops and cannon in case we Tyrolese should rise now to expel the
Bavarians from the country," said Anthony Wallner, with flashing
"We have come to ask our John, Is it time?" exclaimed Andreas Hofer.
The archduke held out his hand to him with a firm and resolute
glance. "Yes," he said, "yes, Andreas Hofer, it is time! Yes,
Anthony Wallner, Austria will assist the Tyrolese with her troops
and cannon in expelling the Bavarians and French from their country.
Yes, Joseph Speckbacher, Austria intends to call upon her faithful
Tyrol to rise and fight under her banners; she will engage in a
mortal contest for you and with you!"
"God grant success to our united efforts!" said Andreas Hofer,
folding his hands over the crucifix on his breast. "During all these
years I have prayed every day to the Holy Virgin to let me live and
see the day when the Austrian eagle shall once more adorn our
boundary-posts, and when we may again fondly and faithfully love our
Emperor Francis as our legitimate sovereign. The good God in heaven,
I hope, will forgive me for having been a very bad and obstinate
subject of the King of Bavaria. I would never submit to the new
laws, and could not discover in my old Austrian heart a bit of
loyalty or love for the ruler who was forced upon us."
"No, you were a stubborn disloyalist, Andy." said Hormayr, "and, as
spokesman of your whole district, you raised your voice against
every new law which the Bavarian government promulgated in your
country. But, it is true the Tyrolese love their Andy for this, and
say that he is the most honest, faithful, and reliable man in the
whole valley of the Adige."
"To be courageous is not so difficult if the cause which you fight
for is a good one," said Andreas Hofer, calmly. "God Himself
engraved on my heart the commandment to be loyal to my emperor, my
country, and its laws; and if you call me reliable, dear friend, you
merely say that I do my duty as a Christian, for the Bible says,
'Let your communication be Yea, yea; nay, nay; for whatsoever is
more than these cometh of sin.' Therefore, do not praise me for that
which is only my duty, and which Speckbacher and Wallner, and all
our dear friends in the valley of the Adige, do just as well as I.
For the rest, I must tell you, gentlemen, it is not so strange that
we should be attached to the emperor; for the Bavarians are
governing our country in such a manner as if they were intent only
on making us love our emperor every day more and more, and long for
him more intensely."
"It is true, Andy is right," exclaimed Anthony Wallner; "the
Bavarians oppress us fearfully, and we will not stand it any longer;
we will become Austrians again, as our fathers were, and will fight
for our liberty and our old privileges which Bavaria solemnly
guaranteed, and which her authorities basely intend to overthrow."
"Which they have already overthrown," cried Joseph Speckbacher, his
eyes flashing with anger. "The court of Munich seems intent only on
making the utmost of their new acquisition. Our old constitution has
been overthrown by a royal edict; the representative estates have
been suppressed, and the provincial funds seized. No less than eight
new and oppressive taxes have been imposed and are being levied with
the utmost rigor; the very name of our country has been abolished;
the royal property has all been brought into the market; new imports
are daily exacted without any consultation with the estates of the
people; specie has become scarce, from the quantity of it which is
being drawn off to the Bavarian treasury; the Austrian notes have
been reduced to half their value; and, to crown all these wrongs,
compulsory levies are held among our young men, who are to serve in
the ranks of our oppressors! No, we must break the yoke weighing us
down--we will become freemen again--as freemen we will live and die-
-as freemen we will belong again to our beloved Emperor Francis,
whose ancestors have ruled over us for so many centuries past."
"If all the Tyrolese think and feel as you three do," said the
Archduke John, with sparkling eyes, "you will recover your liberty
and your emperor, despite the Bavarians and French."
"All feel and think as we do," said Hofer, thoughtfully; "we have
all vowed to God and the Holy Virgin that we will deliver the Tyrol
from the enemy; and every man, every lad in our mountains and
valleys, is ready to take up his rifle and fight for his dear
"We are here as delegates of the whole Tyrol," said Anthony Wallner,
"to ascertain the wishes and intentions of the emperor and his
government, prefer our bitter complaints, and declare the firm
resolution of the Tyrolese to shrink from no sacrifice in order to
be reunited with Austria and to reconquer our ancient rights and
"But we need assistance for this purpose," added Joseph Speckbacher,
"speedy and vigorous assistance; above all, we need troops, money,
ammunition, and supplies. Will Austria give them to us?"
"She will," said the archduke. "She will send you a corps d'armee,
money, ammunition, and supplies. Only you must be ready and prepared
to rise as one man when we give you the signal of insurrection."
"We are ready!" exclaimed Andreas Hofer, nodding joyously. "But you
must not delay the signal very long, for delays are highly--
dangerous under the present circumstances. We and our friends have
prepared the insurrection, and it is as if a large torrent of fire
were flowing secretly under the surface of the Tyrol; if some shrewd
Bavarian should scratch away some of the earth, he would discover
the fire, fetch water, and extinguish the flames, before the
Austrians reach the country and prevent him from so doing. A secret
known to a great many is seldom well kept; it is, as it were, a ripe
fruit which must fall from the tree, even though it should hit and
crush the head of the owner of the tree."
"Yes, what is to be done must be done soon," said Anthony Wallner.
"The men of Passeyr, Meran, Mays, and Algund, are ready, and have
entered into a secret league with the whole valley of the Inn. The
district of the Adige, too, has joined us, and the German and
Italian Tyrolese, who formerly never liked each other, have now
agreed to stand shoulder to shoulder and rise on one day and as one
man, in order to drive the Bavarians and French from their
"We are waiting only for Austria to give the signal; pray do not
keep us waiting too long, for we men of the Lower Innthal, too, are
all ready and armed. An enormous worm of insurrection, as it were,
is creeping through the Lower Inn valley, and the worm has four
heads, which look toward all quarters of the world. One head is
Rupert Wintersteller, of Kirchdorf; the second is Jacob Sieberer, of
Thiersen; the third is Antony Aschbacher, of Achenthal; and the
fourth is I, Joseph Speckbacher, of Kufstein."
"In the Puster valley, too, a storm is brewing, and all are ready
and impatient to rise in insurrection," said Hofer. "Therefore, dear
brother of our emperor, give us good news, that we may take it home
to the men of the Tyrol, for their hearts are longing and crying for
their sovereign the emperor."
"And the emperor, on his part, is longing for his Tyrolese," said
the archduke. "The time has come when that which belongs together is
to be reunited. Let us consult and deliberate, then, my friends,
what we should do in order to attain our great object, and reunite
the Tyrolese with their emperor."
"Yes, let us, consult," said Hofer, solemnly; "and let us pray God
and the Holy Virgin to enlighten our minds."
He raised the crucifix from his breast to his face and bent over it,
muttering a prayer.
"Now I am ready," he said, slowly dropping the crucifix; "let us
deliberate. But I tell you beforehand, I am no military hero, nor a
wise man in council. I am resolved to do all that is necessary to
deliver my dear Tyrol from the enemy, and to strike and fire at the
Bavarians and French until they run away terror-stricken, and
restore us to our dear Emperor Francis. But I am unversed in
negotiations and devising shrewd tricks and stratagems. I am only a
plain peasant, who has a great deal of love and fidelity in his
heart, but only few thoughts in his head. Baron von Hormayr and the
archduke may do the thinking for me. They shall be the head, and I
the arm and heart. Speckbacher and Wallner yonder have good heads
too, though I do not wish to say that their hearts are not also in
the right place; on the contrary, I know that they are. Let us
consult, then, and bear in mind that God hears us, and that the
Tyrolese are waiting for us."
"You are an excellent man, Andy," exclaimed John, holding out his
hand to Hofer with a tender glance--" a childlike soul, full of
love, fidelity, and tenderness; and, in gazing at you, it seems as
if the whole dear Tyrol, with its mountains and valleys, its Alpine
huts and chapels, its merry singers and pious prayers, were present
before me. Come, then, Andy, and you other dear friends, come, let
us be seated and hold a council of war."
They seated themselves around the table standing in the middle of
Day was already dawning, the candles had burned down very low, the
streets began to become lively, and still the Tyrolese remained in
the archduke's cabinet, their faces glowing with defiance and
resolution, and their eyes flashing with boldness and enthusiasm.
For every thing was settled and decided now; each of them had
received his instructions and been informed of the part which he was
to play in the struggle. War with the Bavarians and French, and
liberty for the Tyrol, was the battle-cry and goal.
"The plan is settled, then," said the Archduke John, nodding kindly
to the Tyrolese. "Eleven points, especially, have been agreed upon,
after mature deliberation; and it would be good for us to repeat
"Let us do so," said Andreas Hofer. "First, then: The Tyrolese will
rise against the Bavarians, in order to be reunited with Austria. We
shall enlist as many soldiers for the insurgent army as possible,
and try to make all Tyrolese our fellow-conspirators. They will meet
on Sundays at the taverns, and the innkeepers in the valleys and
mountains are the leaders of the conspiracy; they will call the
meetings and facilitate the intercourse of the conspirators with
each other. If it please God, the insurrection will break out on the
9th of April, when the Austrian troops will cross the frontier of
the Tyrol and hasten to our assistance. This is the best point, and
God grant that it may be well executed!"
"The second point," said Joseph Speckbacher, "is as follows: No
written communication whatever shall be permitted among the
conspirators, and those who violate this order shall be severely
punished. The secret messages will be carried by reliable and well-
tried messengers from court-house to court-house and village to
village. To this the third point adds the following: The oldest men
in the villages will establish secret tribunals to try and punish
those whom fear, self-interest, or bribes may induce to turn
traitors. The families of suspicious persons, and those who betray
our secrets from weakness or in a state of intoxication, must be
closely watched, and they themselves will be sent to distant Alpine
huts and into the mountain fastnesses, where they will be kept in
close confinement." "Fourth," said Anthony Wallner: "Every innkeeper
must strive to amass provisions, forage, wine, and ammunition; for
the inns in the mountains are, as it were, small fortresses for the
Tyrolese, and the enemy can reach them only slowly and after
surmounting a great many difficulties. Besides, the innkeepers must
arrange target-shootings every Sunday, that the men from the
neighborhood may assemble at their houses and join the great league
of the defenders of the country. The innkeepers at very important
places will receive for these purposes bills of exchange on
Salzburg, Klagenfurth, and Trieste; and each of us three, Hofer,
Speckbacher, and I, will take home with us one hundred and twenty
ducats to be distributed among the innkeepers. Fifth: The
intercourse between the mountain districts, on one side, and the
plains and towns, on the other, must henceforth become rarer and
rarer till the hour of the outbreak. But the mountaineers must send
out, at intervals of four days, spies to ascertain the state of
affairs in other parts of the country."
"Sixth," exclaimed the Archduke John, with beaming eyes: "On the day
when the insurrection is to break out, Field-Marshal Jellachich will
arrive in front of Innspruck, and the vanguard of Field-Marshal
Chasteler will march through the Puster valley to the heights of
Schwabs and Elbach toward Brixen, and advance the head of his column
beyond the Brenner as far as Botzen. Seventh: All the forces of the
enemy moving toward Germany must be chased between these two columns
of the Austrians and pursued and fired at incessantly by the
mountaineers; they must be prevented night and day from obtaining
rest and food; the best marksmen must pick off their officers and
blow up their ammunition-wagons. The Tyrolese should chase the
Bavarians and the French in this manner from Botzen to Brixen, up
the Brenner, and thence down to Trent. Now, friend Hormayr, repeat
the remaining four points."
"The eighth point is: The removal of the Bavarian treasure must be
prevented by all means. Ninth: The Tyrolese living on the rivers
must prevent the enemy by all means from destroying the bridges and
roads, so that the Austrians may be able to succor them more
rapidly; but they must also hold men and tools in readiness, that,
after the Austrians have arrived, they may destroy the bridges in
the rear of the enemy, and render the roads impassable, by
obstructing them with piles of wood and rocks. Tenth: The Tyrolese
will try cautiously to bring about an understanding with
Switzerland, and establish connections with the Lower and Upper
Engadine, Chur, Appenzell, and St. Gall; for thence will come the
English agents who will convey arms and money to the Tyrolese.
"Ah, let me state the eleventh point," exclaimed Joseph Speckbacher,
with flashing eyes. "I intend to take part in carrying out this
point of the programme. It is, to take the fortress of Kufstein on
the frontier by a nocturnal coup de main. Field-Marshal Jellachich
will move several companies of riflemen as close up to the fortress
as possible, and Jacob Sieberer and Joseph Speckbacher, who will
beforehand enlist assistants in the town and spy out every thing,
will join them. The capture of Kufstein is to commence the glorious
struggle; it is to be the first hymn of liberty which the Tyrolese
will send up to heaven like a lark in spring, and by which they will
bless and praise the good God. The eleventh and last point is
Kufstein. God protect us in carrying out these eleven points!"
[Footnote: These eleven points were settled in this manner at Vienna
by the delegates of the Tyrolese, the Archduke John, and Baron von
Hormayr, and noted down by the latter.--See Hormayr, "Geschichte
Andreas Hofer's," vol. i, p. 193 et seq.]
"Amen!" exclaimed Andreas Hofer, raising his crucifix and pressing
it to his lips. "We have, then, resolved here in council with our
Archduke John, and I hope also in council with the good God above,
that the Tyrol is to be restored to its beloved imperial house. The
work is to begin on the 9th of April, and we must be ready to rise
on that day. On the 9th of April the Austrians are to cross the
frontier, and on the previous evening they will inform us by firing
off three rockets that they are at hand. At the same time bale-fires
will be lighted on a hundred hills, and on the following morning we
shall throw large quantities of blood, flour, or charcoal, into our
mountain-torrents, that their blood-red, flour-white, or coal-black
waters, flowing into and out of the country, may proclaim to the
people that the time has come when all must rise, rifle in hand, to
conquer or die for the dear Tyrol and the good Emperor Francis."
"And I, too, am ready to conquer or die for the Tyrol and the
emperor, and so is the corps whose commander I am," exclaimed the
archduke enthusiastically. "The emperor, my gracious master, intends
to intrust me with the command of the army which is to fight with
and for the Tyrol, which will check the advance of the enemy
approaching the Tyrol from the Italian frontier, and will second and
strengthen the insurrection of the Tyrolese. Now, then, my friends
and comrades let us prepare the great work bravely, prudently, and
carefully. Collect your forces, as I shall collect mine; make all
your dispositions, and exhort all to behave as true sons of the
Tyrol. Above all things, be cautious. Keep in check not only your
tongues but your faces, especially here in Vienna. For if the
Bavarian spies here ferret out that Andreas Hofer, Speckbacher, and
Wallner are in Vienna, and that I have had an interview with them,
their keen noses will scent at once what is going on, and they will
send, even before we reach the Tyrol, so many Bavarian and French
soldiers into your country, that you will be tied hand and foot, and
cannot raise your arms on the 9th of April to seize your rifles.
Therefore, I repeat it, keep your faces in check, and do not allow
yourselves to be seen in the streets of Vienna in the daytime. Your
beard, Andy, especially is a treacherous thing, and it would really
be best for the Barbone to shave off his long mourning-flag."
Andreas Hofer seized his beard with both his hands, almost in
terror, and drew it caressingly through his fingers.
"No," he said, "my friends and countrymen know me by my beard, and
the Barbone is a welcome guest in the Italian Tyrol. They would not
recognize me if I should appear among them with a smooth chin; and
they would doubt if it was Andreas Hofer who talked with them about
the great conspiracy and insurrection in case they did not see his
"No, archduke," said Speckbacher, smiling and winking, "you must not
object to our Andy's beard, for it is the flag round which the
Tyrolese will rally, and with which the Tyrol will adorn itself on
the day of insurrection, as they put on their best clothes on the
day of Assumption. Moreover, Andreas Hofer must not be ungrateful;
and he would be ungrateful if he should cut off his beard and throw
it away, for his beard gained him one day a couple of fat oxen."
"Is that true, Andy?" asked John, laughing.
"It is," said Andreas Hofer, gravely. "My beard did gain me two
oxen. It happened as follows; archduke: I was quite a young man yet,
and had married my wife, Anna Gertrude Ladurner, only a year before.
I was very fond of my little wife, and did not like to sit for hours
in the tavern, as I had done heretofore. I stayed at home often
enough instead of attending to my business, and going down to Italy
or Germany to carry on my traffic in corn, wine, horses, and oxen,
by which I had made a great deal of money. My friends sneered at my
staying so much at home, and said: 'Andy Hofer, the Sandwirth, is a
henpecked husband, and his wife is master of the house.' This was
very disagreeable to me, for, although I love my Anna Gertrude from
the bottom of my heart, I have always been the master; and she has
been obedient to me, as the Bible says it should be between husband
and wife. Well, one day I sat at home with a few friends; we were
drinking wine in the bar-room. Suddenly there entered the room an
old beggar with a tremendous beard reaching down to his girdle. I
laugh at the beard and rejoice over its enormous length. One of my
friends, Anthony Waidlinger, the rich Amselwirth, asks me: 'Well,
Andy, would you like to wear as long a beard as that?' 'Why not?' I
reply merrily. ' Ah,' exclaims Anthony, laughing, 'you must not talk
so saucily. You must not wear so long a beard. Your wife will not
permit it, Andy!' This makes me very angry; I start up, and hardly
know what I am doing. 'What!' I cry, ' my wife? She must obey me
whether she likes it or not. What will you bet I will not shave my
beard for a whole year?' 'I will bet you two oxen,' says Anthony;
'but let me warn you, Andy, you will lose the oxen; for I stick to
it, your wife will never permit you to become the laughing-stock of
the children by appearing in the streets with such a lion's mane.
Therefore consider the matter well, Andy, for there is time yet.
Admit that you will not win the bet, for two oxen are at stake!' 'I
have already considered everything,' I say: 'and as for the two
oxen, they will be just what I want. A year hence you will bring
them to me, Anthony Waidlinger.' And this prediction was fulfilled.
I did not shave my beard, and Anna Gertrude, my wife, rejoiced at
her Andy's beard instead of being angry at it, and thought it made
her husband look a great deal better. When the year was up, Anthony
Waidlinger drove his two oxen with a sullen air into my stable, and
said: 'Now you may cut off your fur and have a pillow made from it
for your wife.' 'I need not cut off my beard for that purpose,' I
replied; 'it may be my wife's pillow even while it hangs down on my
breast. For she is a good and dutiful wife, and I am fondly attached
to her.' That, archduke, is the story of my beard, which I have worn
ever since, and which has often been a pillow when my little boy and
three girls fell asleep on my lap, and under which they have often
concealed their little heads when their mother was looking for them.
You will ask me no more to cut off my beard--the pillow and
plaything of my children."
"No, Andreas," said the archduke, kindly, "I will not. Wear your
fine beard as you have done hitherto; may it be, notwithstanding its
black color, the victorious flag round which the royal Tyrolese
shall rally on rising for their lord and emperor! And now, farewell,
my friends; it is dawning, and it is time for us to repose a little.
Go home, therefore, and what remains to be settled you may talk over
to-morrow with Baron von Hormayr, who will give you money for
travelling expenses, and for distribution among the innkeepers. Day
after to-morrow you will set out for home, and bring to all loyal
Tyrolese the joyful news that war will break out."
"Yes, yes, war will break out!" exclaimed the three Tyrolese,
"Hush, for God's sake, hush!" said John, laughing. "You must keep
quiet, and, instead of doing so, you shout as jubilantly as though
you were standing on a crest of the Brenner, and had just discovered
the hiding-place of a chamois. Let me therefore tell you once more
it is necessary that the people of Vienna should not find out that
you are in the city. Pledge me your word, then, that you will not go
into the street tomorrow in the daytime, nor allow any one to see
"We pledge you our word!" exclaimed the Tyrolese, with one accord;
"we will not appear in the street to-morrow in the daytime, and day
after to-morrow we shall set out."
"Yes, we shall set out then," repeated Andreas Hofer, "and return to
our mountains and friends, and wait patiently and faithfully until
the day when we shall see the rising to the sky the signal which is
to tell us that our dear Archduke John sends us his soldiers to
assist us in delivering our country from the enemy, and restoring
it, with our mountains, our love, and our loyalty, to our dear
Emperor Francis. God grant that we may succeed in so doing, and may
the Holy Virgin pray for us all, and restore the Tyrol to the
ANDREAS HOFER AT THE THEATRE.
Count Stadion, the minister of foreign affairs, was pacing his
cabinet with a quick step and an anxious expression of countenance.
At times he stood still, and, bending his head toward the door,
seemed to listen intently for some sound; all remaining silent
outside, he commenced again striding up and down, and whenever he
approached the clock on the mantelpiece he cast an anxious glance on
"I am afraid Hormayr was not at home," he murmured moodily to
himself; "his servants did not know where he was, and therefore the
mischief cannot be stopped."
He drew a golden snuff-box from his pocket and took a large pinch
from it. "I said at the very outset," he murmured, "that we ought to
keep aloof from these stupid peasants, who will only involve us in
trouble and mischief. But those gentlemen would not listen to me,
and--Really, I believe I hear footsteps in the anteroom. Yes, yes,
somebody is coming!"
Count Stadion was not mistaken. The door opened, and a footman
announced, in a loud voice, "Baron von Hormayr!"
"Let him come in, let him come in, quick!" said Count Stadion,
waving his hand impatiently; and when Hormayr appeared on the
threshold of the door, he hastily went to meet him.
"In truth; it took my servants a good while to find you!" exclaimed
the minister, angrily. "I have been waiting for you half an hour."
"I was at the Archduke John's rooms, with whom I had business of
importance, your excellency," said Hormayr, emphasizing his last
words. "Moreover, I could not guess that your excellency would wish
to grant me an audience at so unusual an hour, and without my asking
"At so unusual an hour!" cried Count Stadion, putting one pinch of
snuff after another into his nose. "Yes, yes, at so unusual an hour!
It would have been more agreeable to me, too, if it had been
unnecessary for me to trouble you and myself. But it is your own
fault. You do not keep your word."
"Your excellency!" cried Hormayr, indignantly.
"Bah! it is true. You do not keep your word. You promised me that
your Tyrolese should not show themselves, lest we might be charged
with fomenting an insurrection; and it was necessary, also, to
prevent the Bavarians from learning prematurely our plans. Can you
deny that you promised this to me? "
"No, your excellency, I do not deny it at all."
"Well, your Tyrolese are running around everywhere."
"Pardon me, your excellency, that cannot be true. You must have been
"What! misinformed? How dare you say so to my face, sir? Your
beardman, or bushman, or Sandwirth Hofer is at the Karnthnerthor
Theatre, and is the observed of all observers. I saw him with my own
eyes; and that was the reason why I left the theatre and sent for
you."[Footnote: Count Stadion's own words.--See Hormayr's "Andreas
Hofer," vol i., p. 209]
"Your excellency saw him with your own eyes! Then, of course, it
must be true, and I would beg leave of your excellency to go
immediately to the theatre and take him to his hotel."
"That was just what I wished to ask you to do, Baron von Hormayr.
Make haste and induce this bushman to leave Vienna immediately."
"He will leave the capital early in the morning. Your excellency
will permit me now to withdraw."
Baron von Hormayr hastened down stairs, left the chancery of state,
and crossed the Joseph's Place. On reaching the Karnthnerthor
Theatre, he bought a ticket at the office and entered the pit.
"The Marriage of Figaro," by Mozart, was performed at the
Karnthnerthor Theatre to-night, and this favorite opera of the
Viennese had attracted so large an audience that not a seat was
vacant, and the baron had to elbow his way with no little difficulty
through the crowd filling the pit, in order to reach a point where
he might be able to see every part of the house, and discover him
for whose sake he had come.
At length he had succeeded in advancing so far that, leaning against
one of the pillars supporting the upper tiers of boxes, he was able
to survey the lower part of the house. But all faces were averted
from it, all eyes were fixed on the stage. The opera had just
reached the scene where Count Almaviva lifts the carpet from the
chair and finds Cherubino under it. A loud outburst of laughter
resounded from the pit to the upper gallery. But in the midst of the
din, a loud and angry voice exclaimed: "Ah, you young good-for-
nothing, if I had you here I would show you how to behave!" And a
threatening fist and vigorous arm was raised in the midst of the
"Good heavens! that is really Andreas Hofer," murmured Baron von
Hormayr, concealing himself anxiously behind the pillar. A renewed
shout of laughter greeted Hofer's words, and all eyes turned toward
the side where they had been uttered. And there sat the good Andreas
Hofer, in his handsome national costume, with his long black beard,
and his florid, kind-hearted face. There he sat, quite regardless of
the gaze which the audience fixed upon him, utterly unaware of the
fact that he was the observed of all observers, and quite engrossed
in looking at the stage, where proceeded the well-known scene
between Cherubino, the count, and Figaro. He followed the progress
of the action with rapt attention, and when Cherubino tried to prove
his innocence by all sorts of plausible and improbable falsehoods,
Hofer's brow became clouded. He averted his eyes from the stage, and
turned to his neighbor. "Why," he said, loudly and indignantly,
"that boy is as great a liar as though he were Bonaparte himself!"
Now the merriment of the audience knew no longer any bounds. They
applauded, they shouted, "Bravo! bravo!" They forgot the scene on
the stage entirely, and devoted their exclusive attention to the
queer, bearded stranger in the orchestra-stall, on whom all eyes and
opera-glasses were fixed.
Baron von Hormayr behind his pillar wiped the perspiration from his
forehead, and cast furious glances on Andreas Hofer, who, however,
was utterly unaware of his presence, and from whose breast,
protected as it was by his beard and crucifix, rebounded all such
glances like blunted arrows.
The actors, who, interrupted by the unexpected cheers, and the
incident in the audience, had paused a few minutes, and had
themselves hardly been able to refrain from bursting into laughter,
now continued their scene, and the charms of the music and the
interesting character of the action soon succeeded again in riveting
the attention of the audience.
Andreas Hofer, who had in the mean time relapsed into his silent
astonishment, gazed fixedly upon the stage. Baron von Hormayr left
his place quietly and walked to the entrance. He slipped a florin
into the hand of the doorkeeper, who was leaning against the wall.
"Say," he whispered to him hastily, "as soon as the curtain drops,
go to the giant with the long beard, who sits in the orchestra-stall
yonder, and whose words amused the audience just now. He is a
cattle-dealer from Hungary, and I must see him at once. Just whisper
in his ear that his countryman with the wine and horses has arrived,
and it is necessary he should come and see him right away.--Thank
God, the curtain falls! Now make haste. If you bring the cattle-
dealer with you into the corridor, I will give you another florin."
The doorkeeper's face beamed with satisfaction; he elbowed himself
courageously through the crowd, and succeeded. in reaching the
"cattle-dealer from Hungary," who sat absorbed in his reflections,
with his head bent on his breast. He touched his shoulder softly and
whispered his message into his ear.
Andreas Hofer gave a start and stared at the doorkeeper. "What
countrymen?" he asked; "and how can he bring to me wine and horses
"I do not know anything about it," whispered the door-keeper; "I
know only that your countryman with the wine and the horses is
waiting for you, and that he says he must see you right away."
" Well, then, come, conduct me to him," said Andreas, rising from
his chair, and drawing up his colossal form to its full height. "I
should like to know who this countryman is. Lead the way, sir; I
will follow you."
The doorkeeper retraced his steps through the crowd; Andreas Hofer
followed him, greeting kindly and pleasantly in all directions, and
pushing aside the men like flies whenever they stood in his way.
At length they reached the door, and stepped into the corridor.
Baron von Hormayr, like a tiger pouncing upon his prey, rushed upon
Andreas Hofer, seized his arm, and drew him down the corridor into
the outer hall, which was so deserted and silent that there was no
danger of their conversation being overheard by an eavesdropper.
Here at length Hormayr stood still and dropped the arm of Andreas
Hofer, who had followed him, dumfounded with astonishment, and
glancing around as if looking for somebody else.
"Andy," exclaimed Hormayr, vehemently, "what am I to think of you?
The Tyrolese always keep their promises, and to think that our
honest Sandwirth alone should not do so! You pledged me your word
that you would conceal your presence here in Vienna as much as
possible, and now you are running about the city in your national
costume and with your bearded face to hear the opera-trills and see
how the ballet-dancers stretch their legs!" [Footnote: Hormayr's own
words.--See Hormayr's "Andreas Hofer," vol. i., p. 209.]
"Andreas Hofer never breaks his word," said Hofer, gravely. "I
promised not to appear in the streets in the day-time, and I have
faithfully kept my word. I stayed at home all day, and it was only
after nightfall that we three went together into the street.
Speckbacher and Wallner went to the Archduke John's gunsmith,
Anthony Steger, to take leave of him, and I intended to go to St.
Stephen's Cathedral to attend vespers. But I am a stranger in the
city, and happened to lose my way. All at once I got into a dense
crowd, and thought I had arrived at St. Stephen's Cathedral, and
that the crowd consisted of pious Christians going to vespers;
hence, I allowed myself to be drawn along into the door, because I
thought it was the church."
"And on buying a ticket. Andy, you supposed you purchased
indulgence, did you not? "
"No, I did not," said Andreas in a tone of embarrassment. "But, on
seeing all those persons step to the office and get tickets, I
thought there were Christian passion-plays performed there, as at
Innspruck in Lent; and on hearing the man standing before me
shouting, 'Ticket for an orchestra-stall,' I shouted, also, 'Ticket
for an orchestra-stall,' and threw a florin on the table. Thereupon
they handed me a ticket, and I followed the others into the hall.
The performance commenced almost at the same moment, the curtain
rose, and the actors began to sing. It is true, it is not a passion-
play, and there is nothing from the Bible in it; but then it is a
nice play. I believe the curtain will rise again immediately, and it
is time for me to return to my seat. But I should like to know where
my countryman with the horses and wine is. He insisted on seeing me,
sent for me, and does not come now."
"But, Andy, do you not yet know that it was I who sent for you?"
asked Hormayr. "Why, it was only a stratagem of mine to get the
Barbone out of the theatre and take him away from here."
"But why do you want to take me away from here? I tell you I like
the play very well, and have never seen any thing like it. It is
true, Cherubino, the boy, is an arrant liar, but he is a jolly
fellow, and I do not want him to come to grief. And Figaro is a sly
fox, and withal a brave man. I should like to make his acquaintance
and ask him if he really promised old Marielle to marry her; for it
would be wrong if he did not keep his word now, and refused to make
her his wife because he likes the young woman better than her. If I
knew where he lives, I would go to him this very night and tell him
what he ought to do."
"Oh, you foolish old child of Nature! what you saw on the stage was
nothing but a play. Figaro never existed; and even though he did,
you would not go to him, but accompany me and take supper with me."
"I am sorry." said Andreas, gravely, "I cannot do so; for, in the
first place, I must stay here and wait for the countryman who has
arrived here with the horses and wine."
"Jesus Maria! what do you say? The countryman? Did I not tell you
that it is I, Andy?"
"Oh, yes, I had already forgotten it. But, second, I cannot go
because I must see the remainder of the play. Let me, therefore,
return to my seat, for I paid for the whole performance; I believe I
have already missed a great deal; but they will assuredly not return
to me at the office a penny for what I did not hear." [Footnote:
Hofer's own words.--See Hormayr, "Andreas Hofer," vol. i., p. 810.]
"They will not, and shall not either," cried Hormayr, angrily. "You
will not return to your seat, Andy, but go and take supper with me.
For you know, my dear fellow, that you have come to Vienna, not to
go to the theatre, but to ask the dear Archduke John's assistance
and succor for the beloved Tyrol, and inquire of the emperor if he
will not aid his loyal Tyrolese in their attempt to become his
subjects once more. And the emperor and the archduke will help you;
they promise to send soldiers and guns in time to the Tyrol. But, in
return, you must do what the archduke asked you to do; you must
carefully conceal yourself, Andy, in order to prevent the Bavarians
from learning of your trip to Vienna; otherwise they would arrest
you and your friends after your return to the Tyrol. Hence you must
not return to your seat, where so many persons would see you, and
unfortunately have seen you already."
"Well, if it must be so, let us go, sir," sighed Andreas. "But just
listen how they are singing, shouting, and cheering inside! Jesus
Maria! Figaro, I believe, will have to marry old Marielle after all,
and give up pretty little Susanne. Ah, my God! she will die heart-
broken, for she loves him so dearly. Pray, sir, let me go in once
more, that I may see whether or not he must marry old Marielle."
"No, Andy," said Hormayr, smiling, "you need not be uneasy; Figaro
will not marry old Marielle, for she is his own mother."
"What!" cried Andreas, in dismay; "she his mother, and he has
promised to marry her! That is most sinful and infamous! No good
Christian should listen to such things. Come along, sir. I do not
want to hear another word of it. Good heavens! what will Anna
Gertrude say when I tell her what I have seen here, and that there
are here in Vienna men infamous enough to promise to marry their
"But they never do so in reality, Andy, but only on the stage.
Otherwise the police would be after them at once. For the emperor is
a very pious and virtuous gentleman, and he does not permit any
infractions of the sacred laws of God and the Church in his
"Yes, the emperor is a very pious and virtuous gentleman," exclaimed
Andreas Hofer, enthusiastically, "and that is the reason why the
Tyrolese love him and wish to be again his subjects and children.
Come, I will go home with you. I do not want to hear any more of the
theatrical nonsense. Let us speak of our emperor and our dear
Archduke John. God grant that we may soon be able to say he is our
emperor again, and the archduke is our John, and his Tyrolese are
again his subjects, because they fought well for their liberty, and
because God blessed their efforts and crowned them with victory.
Come, we will go home, and to-morrow I shall return to the Tyrol, to
my wife and children, and mountain and valley shall know that the
time has come, and that we shall become Austrians again. May the
Holy Virgin protect us and grant us a safe return; may she prevent
the Bavarians from waylaying us and frustrating our great and noble
purpose!" [Footnote: The delegates of the Tyrolese left Vienna on
the following morning; their presence there, however, had been
reported to the Bavarian officers, who, during their homeward
journey, almost succeeded in arresting them. John von Graff, a
banker of Botzen, was apprised of their arrival in Vienna by his
correspondent in that city and informed the commissary-general at
Brixen of what he had learned. A warrant for the arrest of the three
delegates was issued, but they escaped in time into the mountains.--
Hormayr, vol. i., p. 191.]
CONSECRATION OF THE FLAGS, AND FAREWELL.
The die was cast, then. The war with France was to break out again.
There was to be no more procrastination and hesitation. The time for
action was at hand.
Already the French ambassador, Andreossi, had left Vienna, and all
the members of the legation had followed him. Already Clement Count
Metternich had arrived at Vienna but he had not left Paris as Count
Andreossi had left Vienna, quietly and unmolested, but Napoleon had
caused him to be escorted to the French frontier by a detachment of
And to-day, on the 9th of March, Austria was to proclaim to all
Germany, by means of a public festival, that she was resolved to
renew the struggle with France and risk once more the blood of her
people and the existence of her imperial dynasty in order to deliver
Germany from the usurper who was intent on crushing in his iron
hands the liberty and independance of the German nation.
A solemn ceremony was to take place to-day on the Glacis of Vienna.
The flags of the militia were to be consecrated by the Archbishop of
Vienna, and the whole imperial family was to be present at the
solemnity. Hence, all Vienna presented a festive appearance; all
stores were closed, and no one was seen following his every-day
avocations. The Viennese had made a holiday; no one would toil for
his daily bread; all wished to refresh themselves only with mental
food, and greet with their glances and acclamations the noble men
who were to take the field for the salvation of the fatherland.
The people were surging in dense masses toward the glacis, rushing
with irresistible impetuosity into the empty ditches, and climbing
the trees on their edges, or gaining some other standpoint whence
they could survey the solemnity which was to take place on the broad
promenade of the glacis. On the large rondel of the glacis had been
erected a tribune whose golden-broidered velvet canopy was
surmounted by a very large imperial crown; four golden double-headed
eagles adorned the four corners of the canopy, and held in their
beaks the colors of Austria and Hungary. Under the canopy stood gilt
arm-chairs, with cushions of purple velvet. This was the tribune
destined for the emperor and his family; all eyes were riveted upon
it, and all hearts longed to greet the sovereign, and thank him for
the proud happiness of this hour.
Further on rose other and no less splendidly decorated tribunes, the
seats of which had been sold at enormous rates to the aristocracy
and wealthy citizens of Vienna for the benefit of the militia; and
thousands had found seats on the trees surrounding the broad
promenade and the rondel, and paid for their airy perches only with
some pains and bruises.
Since early dawn this pilgrimage to the glacis had been going on; by
ten o'clock all seats, roads, tribunes, trees, ditches, and bridges,
were occupied by a dense crowd; and, in order to prevent accidents,
the authorities had already ordered all approaches to the glacis to
On the broad promenade, too, matters assumed a very lively aspect.
The militia marched up with banners unfurled and drums beating. They
drew up in line on both sides of the road, and their officers and
standard-bearers repaired to the large rondel where another had been
constructed in face of the imperial tribune. They ranged themselves
around the altar, on whose steps priests in full vestments were
kneeling, and which was surmounted by a gigantic crucifix, visible
to all spectators far and near, and waving to all its blessings and
And now all the church-steeples commenced ringing their peals; the
iron tongues of their bells proclaimed to the inhabitants of Vienna,
and to the many thousands of strangers who had come to witness the
solemnity, that the emperor with his con-art and his children had
left the Hofburg, and was approaching the glacis, followed by his
suite. The militia assumed a stiff military attitude, the drums
rolled, the cannon boomed, the bugles sounded merry notes, and the
emperor, leading his consort by the hand, entered the tribune. He
looked pale; his form was bent, and trembling as if shaken by an
inward fever; and even more singular appeared his down-hanging
under-lip and the gloomy, morose expression of his lustreless blue
eyes. But the people did not see this; they saw only that their
emperor had arrived--their emperor, who had resolved to deliver
Austria from the ignominious foreign yoke; who would die with his
subjects rather than longer bear the arrogance of France; and who
boldly and courageously staked all in order to win all, to restore
at length a lasting peace to Austria and Germany, and vindicate
their honor and independence. For this reason all hearts greeted the
Emperor Francis with love and exultation, and he was received with
deafening and constantly-renewed cheers.
The emperor received with a forced smile the flattering homage which
was rendered to him, but more radiant was the smile of his consort;
in her dark and glowing eyes glistened tears of joyful emotion, when
she glanced at this jubilant mass of spectators and the enthusiastic
regiments of the militia. She was also full of exultation; she did
not, however, give vent to her feelings, but pent them up in her
heart, owing to the moroseness of her imperial husband.
In the midst of a fresh outburst of popular enthusiasm, Francis bent
over the empress. "I suppose you are well satisfied now, empress?"
he asked. "You have attained your object; all of you have fanned the
flame until war is ready to break out, and every thing will go again
topsy-turvy. But I tell you, empress, we shall fail again; I do not
believe that we shall conquer."
"Well, your majesty, then we shall succumb and die, but it will be
an honorable defeat. It is better to perish in a just and honorable
struggle than submit patiently to foreign usurpation."
"A very nice phrase, but the practical execution of such ideas is
sometimes by far more unpleasant than the theory which they express.
I am afraid you will have good reason to regret this day, and--but
what fearful noise is this again? The people are cheering as though
they were welcoming God Almighty Himself. What is it?"
"Your majesty," said Ludovica, gazing timidly into her husband's
face, "I believe the people are cheering the Archdukes Charles and
John, for they are just walking along the ranks of the militia."
"Ah, my brothers!" murmured the emperor, with an angry expression,
which, however, disappeared again immediately; "the people are
cheering my brothers as though they were two divinities from whom
alone they expect salvation and prosperity."
"Your majesty, the people cheer the archdukes because they are the
brothers of the emperor, and because the confidence of your majesty
has placed them at the head of the Austrian armies to lead them to
battle, and, if it please God, to victory. It is your majesty alone
that appointed the Archduke Charles generalissimo of all your
forces, and the Archduke John commander of the army of Lower
"Yes, I did so, for, blessed as I am with brothers so heroic and
spirited, I must of course distinguish and employ them in accordance
with their merits; otherwise they might believe I was jealous of
their glory and splendor. This would be entirely false, for, so far
from being jealous of them, I love them dearly, and give them now
again another opportunity to gain laurels, as they did in 1805. It
is true, my brother the generalissimo, was not victorious at
Austerlitz, and my brother John has likewise sustained many a
defeat; but that does not prevent them from being heroes and great
men. Just listen to the roars with which the people greet them!
Jesus Maria! I hope the generalissimo will not have his fits from
Ludovica cast a quick, mournful glance on the maliciously smiling
face of her husband. "Your majesty need not be alarmed," she said;
"your tender apprehensions will fortunately not be fulfilled. You
see that the archduke is quite well; he is just addressing his
"Yes, yes, I know his speech. M. von Gentz wrote it for him and I
permitted him to deliver it. Ah, it abounds with fine phrases, and
my dear Austrians will be astonished on hearing what liberal men we
have become all of a sudden, and what grand ideas of liberty,
equality, and popular sovereignty we have adopted. Just listen to
him! the conclusion is very fine, and sounds just as though the
Marseillaise had been translated into the language of the
"Soldiers," shouted the archduke, at this moment, in a loud, ringing
voice. "the liberty of Europe has taken refuge under the flag of
Austria; the rights, freedom, and honor of all Germany expect their
salvation only of our armies. Never shall they, instruments of
oppression, carry on in foreign countries the endless wars of a
destructive ambition, annihilate innocent nations, and with their
own corpses pave for foreign conquerors the road leading to usurped
thrones. Soldiers, we take up arms only for the liberty, honor, and
rights of all Germany; it is these sacred boons that we have to
defend!" [Footnote: Hormayr, "Allgemeine Geschichte," vol. iii., p.
A long-continued, deafening outburst of applause both of the
soldiers and the people was the reply to the stirring address of the
generalissimo; but suddenly every sound was hushed, for at the
altar, yonder by the side of the tall crucifix, appeared now the
archbishop, accompanied by the whole body of the high clergy.
The emperor rose from his seat and bowed humbly and devoutly to the
prelate who had been the teacher of his youth, and had afterward
married him three times, the last time only a few months ago.
And now the archdukes marched the troops into the middle of the
place, and the consecration of the flags commenced amid the peals of
all the church-bells and the booming of artillery.
The emperor looked on, standing, bareheaded, and with hands clasped
in prayer. Ludovica turned her eyes heavenward, and her lips moved
in a low, fervent prayer. Behind them stood the young archdukes and
archduchesses, muttering prayers, and yet glancing around curiously;
and the cavaliers of the imperial couple, looking gloomy, and
plainly showing in their sombre faces the rage that filled their
The ceremony being finished, the archbishop lifted up his hands and
stretched them out toward the soldiers. "Adieu, until we meet
again," he exclaimed with a radiant air, and in a voice of joyful
enthusiasm; "adieu, until we meet again at the hour of danger!"
"Adieu, until we meet again at the hour of danger!" echoed the
soldiers with enthusiasm. Seeing then that the archbishop bent his
knees, they knelt likewise and bowed their heads in prayer. Hushed
was every sound on the vast place. Only the church-bells were
pealing and the artillery was booming in the distance, and the
murmur of the devout prayers which rose to God from so many pious
hearts broke the silence.
In the fervent enthusiasm of this hour no one felt the least
timidity, no one looked anxiously into the future. Even the mothers
did not shed tears for their sons who were about to take the field;
the affianced brides allowed their lovers to depart without uttering
complaints or weeping at the thought of their impending departure;
wives took leave of their husbands with joyous courage, pressing
their infants to their breasts and commending them trustingly to
God's protection. The patriotic enthusiasm had seized all, and
carried away even the coldest and most selfish hearts. The rich
contributed their money with unwonted liberality; those who were in
less favorable circumstances laid down their plate and valuables on
the altar of the country; the mechanics offered to work gratuitously
for the army; the women scraped lint and organized associations for
the relief of the wounded; the young men offered their life-blood to
the fatherland, and considered it as a favor that their services
were not rejected.
The long-concealed hatred against France burst forth in bright
flames throughout Austria and Germany; the war was hailed with
rapturous enthusiasm, and every heart longed to take part in this
struggle, which seemed to all a war of holy vengeance and
retribution. For the first time in long years Austria felt again
thoroughly identified with Germany, while the other Germans were
looking upon Austria as a German state and holding out their hands
to their Austrian brethren, telling them that they sympathized most
vividly with the ends which then were trying to attain.
But while the utmost exultation was reigning among the people and
the soldiers on this joyful day, a gloomy silence prevailed in the
imperial palace. The joyous mask with which the generalissimo, the
Archduke Charles, had covered his face while on the glacis, had
disappeared from it so soon as he had returned to his rooms. Pale
and faint, he rested in an easy-chair, and, fixing his sombre eyes
an his quartermaster-general, Count Gruenne, he said: "My friend,
listen to that which I am going to say to you now, and which you
will remember one day. I have objected three times in the most
emphatic manner to this declaration of war, for I know that our
preparations are not sufficiently matured, and I know also that I
have here in Austria powerful enemies who are intent on impeding all
my efforts, and who will shrink from nothing in order to ruin me,
and with me you too, my poor friend. The whole aristocracy is
hostile to me, and will never allow the emperor's brothers to set
bounds to its oligarchy by their merits and influence; it will
always oppose us, even though it should endanger thereby the power
and honor of the fatherland. I know all the perils and intrigues
surrounding me, and because I know them I tried to avoid them,
opposed the war, and strove to get rid at least of the command-in-
chief. But the emperor would not allow me to do so; he ordered me to
accept the arduous position of generalissimo of his forces, and, as
his subject, I had to obey him. But I repeat it, this will be a
disastrous war for Austria, and I look with gloomy forebodings into
And as gloomy as the generalissimo's face was that of his brother,
the Emperor Francis. He had retired into his cabinet, and strode
growlingly up and down, holding the fly-flap in his hand, and
striking savagely at the flies which his searching eyes discovered
here and there on the wall.
Suddenly the door opened, and the footman announced the Archduke
John. The emperor's face became even more morose. He cast the fly-
flap aside, and murmured to himself, "My brothers never leave me any
rest." He then said in a loud voice, "Let him come in."
A minute afterward the archduke entered the cabinet. His face was
still joyously lit up by the soul-stirring solemnity in which he had
participated in the morning; his eye was yet radiant with noble
enthusiasm and exultation, and a serene smile played around his
lips. Thus he appeared before his brother, whose face seemed doubly
gloomy in the presence of his own.
"I come to take leave of your majesty and bid farewell to my brother
Francis," he said, in a mild, tender voice. "I intend to set out to-
night for Gratz, and organize my staff there."
"God bless you, commander of the Southern army!" said the emperor,
dryly; "God bless you, brother. You were all eager for war; now you
"And your majesty has witnessed the enthusiasm with which the
Austrian people hailed the declaration of war. And not only the
people of Austria, but all Germany, looks now with joy, hope, and
pride toward Austria, and participates most cordially in our warlike
"I do not care for that," said the emperor, dryly. "Thank God, I
cast off the crown of Germany three years ago, and am no longer
Emperor of Germany."
"But one day, when your armies have conquered France and delivered
the world from the insatiable usurper, Germany will gratefully lie
down at your majesty's feet and beseech you to accept the imperial
crown again at her hands."
"Much obliged, sir, but I would not take it," exclaimed the emperor,
with a shrug. "But say, brother, are you really convinced that we
can and shall conquer Bonaparte?"
"I am. We shall conquer, if--"
"Well, if--"asked the emperor, when the archduke hesitated.
"If we are really determined to do so," said John, looking the
emperor full in the face; "if we act harmoniously, if we do not
impede each other, if no petty jealousies favor the efforts of one
and frustrate those of the other. Oh, brother, permit me at this
farewell hour to utter a few frank and truthful words, and I beg
your majesty to forgive me if my heart opens to you in unreserved
confidence. Brother, I confess frankly all is not as it should be
here. Where concord should reign; there is discord; where all should
have their eyes fixed only on the great goal, and avail themselves
of all means and forces, they are split up into factions bitterly
hostile to each other. Oh, my gracious emperor, I beseech you, do
not listen to these factions, do not confide in those who would like
to arouse your suspicion against your brothers. Believe me, you have
no more loyal, devoted, and obedient subject than I am; therefore,
confide in me, who wish only to contribute to the greatness, honor,
and glory of my country and my emperor, to the best of my power,
however insignificant it may be. My brother, there has long been a
gulf between us; God knows that I did not dig it. But let us fill it
up forever at this farewell hour. I implore you, believe in my love,
my devoted loyalty; take me by the hand and say, `John, I trust you!
I believe in you!' See, I am waiting for these words as for the
blessing which is to accompany me into battle, and rest on my heart
like a talisman. Brother, speak these words of love and confidence!
Give me your hand--open your arms to your brother!"
"Why should we enact here a sentimental scene?" asked the emperor,
harshly. "I do not like such things, and want to see family dramas
only performed on the stage. Thank God, I am not a theatrical
emperor, but a real one, and will have nothing to do with scenes
from plays. Nor do I know of any gulfs existing between you and me.
I never perceived them, and was never disturbed thereby. But why do
you protest your love and loyalty in so passionate a manner to me?
Who tells you, then, that I suspect them? That would be equivalent
to considering my brother a traitor, and it would be very
unfortunate for him; for toward traitors I shall always be
inexorable, whosoever they may be, and whether they be persons of
high or low rank. Let us speak no longer of it. But, besides, you
have again advised me, without being requested to do so, and demand
that I should not listen to any factions. I never do, brother. I
never listen to any factions, neither to yours, nor to that of the
others. I listen only to myself, and require submissiveness and
obedience of my servants. You are one of the latter; go, then, and
obey me. I have resolved on war; go, then, to your corps and fight,
as you are in duty bound, for your emperor and for Austria; Defeat
Napoleon if you can. You are playing a game which may easily become
dangerous to ourselves. You have stirred up an insurrection in the
Tyrol; you will have to bear the responsibility if this insurrection
shall be unsuccessful."
"I will bear it, and God will forgive what I have done!" said John,
solemnly. "Your majesty, you would not listen to the brother who
offered you his love frankly and honestly. I have nothing to add to
what I have said, nor shall I ever snake another attempt to gain
"Is that intended as a threat?" asked the emperor, angrily.
"No," said John, mournfully, "I do not threaten you. I shall always
bear in mind that I loved you, and that you are not only my lord and
emperor, but also the son of my mother."
"And I," cried the emperor, vehemently, "shall always bear in mind
that you were the head of the faction which, by its insensate clamor
for war, first aroused Napoleon's anger, brought about
demonstrations and armaments on our part, and finally obliged me to
resolve on war, although I know full well that this resolution will
inevitably involve Austria in great disaster. Let me likewise speak
a farewell word to you, brother. We shall succumb again, although my
wise and learned brothers are at the head of the army. I consulted
the most experienced and sagacious men. I myself paid a visit to
Count Cobenzl, who is lying at the point of death, and asked his
opinion. He hates Napoleon as ardently as any one, and yet he is in
favor of peace. I consulted the Prince de Ligne and Minister Thugut;
one is an ambitious captain, the other a vindictive diplomatist, who
would like to overthrow Napoleon; and yet both were for peace with
France, and I will tell you the reason why: because they know that
among all my captains and generals there is not one determined and
able enough to cope with Napoleon and his marshals: because they
knew that even my brother Charles, the generalissimo, is vacillating
and irresolute; and because they do not know what an eminent captain
the Archduke John would be, if he only had a chance to show his
military talents. If, despite all this, I resolved on war, it was
because circumstances, and not my convictions, obliged me to do it--
circumstances which were mostly brought about by you and your
"Your majesty," said John, in a grave and dignified manner, "permit
me to say a few words in reply to what you have just said. You
allude to my military talents, which you say I have not had a chance
to show. Well, give me such a chance; deliver me from the
surveillance tying my hands; let me pursue my path as your general
freely and without restrictions, and I pledge you my word that I
will reconquer the Tyrol and your Italian provinces."
"See, see, what a nice plan!" exclaimed the emperor, laughing. "You
wish to be another generalissimo, and independent of any other
"No, your majesty; I wish to obtain only equal rights and authority
to deliberate and decide jointly with my brother Charles."
"It is very bold in you, sir, thus to oppose your generalissimo,"
said the emperor, sternly. "To-day you will no longer obey the
generalissimo--to-morrow you will perhaps refuse to obey the
emperor. Not another word about it! Go and do your duty. The
Archduke Charles is generalissimo, and you will submit to his orders
and instructions. Farewell, brother; may God and the Holy Virgin
bless you and your army!"
"Farewell, your majesty," said the archduke, bowing ceremoniously to
the emperor. He then turned hastily and left the room.
The emperor looked after him with an angry air. "I believe the two
archdukes will thwart each other on all occasions," he said, in a
low voice. "There will not only be war with France, but also war
between the factions in Austria, and the consequence will be, that
my brothers will gain but very few laurels."
The Archduke John returned slowly to his rooms. After entering his
cabinet, he sank on the divan, as if crushed and heart-broken. He
sat a long time in silence, his head bent on his breast, and
uttering from time to time heart-rending groans. After a long pause,
he slowly lifted his tearful eyes to heaven.
"Thou knowest, my God," he said, in a low voice, "that my intentions
are good and pure, and that I desire nothing but to serve my country
and deliver it from the disgrace which it has had to submit to for
so many years past. Thou knowest that I wish nothing for myself, but
all for the fatherland. Help me, my God, help our poor, unfortunate
Austria! Let us not succumb and perish! Grant victory to our arms! O
Austria, O Germany, why can I not purchase liberty and independence
for you with my blood? But. I can at least I shall welcome this if
my dying eyes can behold liberty dawning upon Germany!"
It was late in the afternoon of the 8th of April. The setting sun
was shedding his last red rays on the distant mountain-crests of the
Janfen and the Timbler Toch, whose blood-red summits contrasted
wonderfully with the deep azure of the clear sky. On the lower
slopes of the mountains twilight had set in; the pines, the daring
chamois of the vegetable kingdom, which had climbed up to the
highest parts of the mountains, cast the gray veil of dusk over
these lower slopes. Below, in the Passeyr valley, however, night
already prevailed, for the mountains looming up on both sides of the
valley filled it with darkness even before sundown; and only the
wild, roaring Passeyr, which rushes from the mountain through the
valley, glistened like a silver belt in the gloom. The church-bells
of the villages of St. Leonard and St. Martin, lying on both sides
of the valley, tolled a solemn curfew, awakening here and there a
low, sleepy echo; and from time to time was heard from a mountain-
peak a loud, joyous Jodler, by which a Tyrolese hunter, perhaps,
announced his speedy return to his family in the valley. The gloom
in the narrow Passeyrthal became deeper and deeper, and, like bright
glow-worms, the lights in the houses of St. Leonard and St. Martin
glistened now in the darkness.
Lights appeared not only in the valley below, but also here and
there on the mountain-slopes; and especially in the solitary house
on the knoll situated half-way between the two villages, was seen
the bright glare of many candles, and the persons passing on the
road in the valley looked up and whispered to each other: "Andreas
Hofer is at home, and, it seems, has a great many guests at his
house, for all the windows of his handsome inn are illuminated."
The solitary house on the knoll, then, belonged to Andreas Hofer. It
was the Gasthaus zum Sand, far famed throughout the Tyrol. And the
passers-by were not mistaken. Andreas Hofer was at home, and had a
great many guests at his house. On the benches of the large bar-room
sat his guests, handsome Tyrolese, with flashing eyes and animated
faces, which were all turned toward the Sandwirth, [Footnote: The
name usually given to Hofer--"Sandwirth, landlord of the inn Zum
Sand."] who was sitting on the small table yonder, and conversing in
a low tone with his friends Eisenstecken and Sieberer. All the
guests seemed excited and anxious; no one opened his mouth to utter
merry jests; none of the gay songs so popular among the Tyrolese
resounded; and the guests did not even venture to address playful
remarks to Hofer's pretty daughters, who were gliding noiselessly
through the room to fill the empty beer-glasses.
"It seems," murmured Anthony Sieberer, "that the Austrian government
has again postponed the matter, and we shall vainly look far the
arrival of the message. This new delay puts an end to the whole
"I do not think so," said Hofer, gravely, and loud enough to be
heard by all. "Do not despond, my dear friends! The Austrian
government will assuredly keep its word, for the dear brave Archduke
John promised me in the emperor's name that Austria would succor the
Tyrolese, and send troops into our country, if we would be in
readiness on the 9th of April to rise against the Bavarians. My dear
friends, do you put no confidence, then, in the word of our
excellent emperor and the good archduke, who has always loved us so
"No, no, we put implicit confidence in their word!" shouted the
Tyrolese, with one accord.
"The messenger will surely come, just have a little patience," added
Hofer, with a pleasant nod; "the day is not yet at an end, and until
midnight we may smoke yet many a pipe and drink many a glass of
beer.--Anna Gertrude see to it that the glasses of the guests are
always well filled."
Anna Gertrude, a fine-looking matron of thirty-six, with florid
cheeks and flashing hazel eyes, had just placed before her husband
another jug, filled with foaming beer, and she nodded now to her
Andy with a smile, showing two rows of faultless white teeth.
"I and the girls will attend to the guests," she said, "but the men
do not drink any thing. The glasses and jugs are all filled, but
they do not empty them, and--Look! who comes there?"
Andreas Hofer turned his head toward the door; then suddenly he
uttered a cry of surprise and jumped up.
"Halloo!" he exclaimed, "I believe this is the messenger whom we are
looking for." And he pointed his outstretched arm at the small, dark
form entering the room at this moment.
"It is Major Teimer," he continued, joyfully; "I suppose you know
yet our dear major of 1805?"
"Hurrah! Martin Teimer is there," shouted the Tyrolese, rising from
their seats, and hastening to the new-comer to shake hands with him
and bid him heartily welcome.
Martin Teimer thanked them warmly for this kind reception, and a
flash of sincere gratification burst from his shrewd blue eyes.
"I thought I should meet all the brave men of the Passeyr valley at
Andy's house to-night," he said, "and I therefore greet you all at
once, my dear comrades of 1805. That year was disastrous to us. but
I think the year 1809 will be a better one, and we shall regain to-
day what we lost at that time."
"Yes, we shall, as sure as there is a God," shouted the Tyrolese;
and Andreas Hofer laid his arm on Teimer's shoulder and gazed deeply
into his eyes.
"Say, Martin Teimer, are all things in readiness, and do you bring
us word to rise?"
"I do, all things are in readiness," said Teimer, solemnly. "Our
countryman, Baron von Hormayr, whom the Austrian government
appointed governor and intendant of the Austrian forces which are to
co-operate with us, sends me to Andreas Hofer, whom I am to inform
that the Austrian troops, commanded by Marquis von Chasteler and
General Hiller, will cross the Tyrolese frontier to-night."
"Hurrah, hurrah! the Austrians are coming!" shouted the Tyrolese,
jubilantly, swinging their pointed hats in the air. "The war has
broken out, the Austrians are coming, and we will expel the
Bavarians from the country!"
Andreas Hofer's face, too, was radiant with joy; but, instead of
singing and shouting, he was silent, lifted his eyes slowly to
heaven, and seized with both his hands the crucifix resting on his
"Let us pray, my friends," he said in a loud and solemn voice; "let
us thank our Lord God and our patron saint in the stillness of our