Part 5 out of 11
exultingly, and thanked the courageous peasants for delivering them
from the foreign yoke. The city, which for three hours had been a
wild scene of terror, havoc, bloodshed, and death, resounded now at
the hour of mid-day with cheers and exultation; nothing was heard
but hurrahs, songs, and cheers for the Emperor Francis and the
Every minute added to the universal joy. The victorious Tyrolese,
mounted on the horses of Cite Bavarian cavalry, and headed by the
proud and triumphant Speckbacher and a rural band of music, appeared
with their prisoners. Two badly-tuned violins, two shrill fifes, two
iron pot-lids, and several jews'-harps, were the instruments of this
band. But the musicians tried to make as much noise with them as
possible, and the citizens considered their music sweeter and finer
than the splendid tunes which the bands of the Bavarian regiments
had played to them up to this time.
New cheers rent the air at this moment. A squad of peasants brought
the great imperial eagle, which they had taken down from the tomb of
Maximilian in the High Church of Innspruck. They had decorated it
with red ribbons, and carried it amid deafening acclamations through
the streets. On beholding the eagle of Austria, the excited masses
set no bounds to their rejoicings; they flocked in crowds to gaze at
it; citizens and peasants vied in manifesting their devotion to the
precious emblem; they blessed it and kissed it. No one was permitted
to stay a long while near it, for the impatience of his successor
compelled him to pass on. But an aged man, with silvery hair, but
with a form still vigorous and unbent, would not allow himself to be
pushed on in this manner. An hour ago he had fought like a lion in
the ranks of the Tyrolese, and anger and rage had flashed from his
face; but now, at the sight of the Austrian eagle, he was as mild
and gentle as a lamb, and only love and blissful emotion beamed from
his face. He encircled the eagle with both his arms, kissed the two
heads and gilded crowns, and, stroking the carved plumes tenderly,
exclaimed: "Well, old eagle, have your plumes really grown again?
Have you returned to the loyal Tyrol to stay here for all time to
Loud cheers interrupted him at this moment. Another crowd of
Tyrolese came up the street, preceded by four peasants, who were
carrying two portraits in fine golden frames.
Deafening acclamations rent the air as soon as the people beheld
these two portraits. Everybody recognized them as those of the
Emperor Francis and the Archduke John. The peasants had found them
in the old imperial palace.
"John!" shouted the people in the streets, and in the houses which
the procession passed on its march through the city. Even the
Austrian eagle, which had been greeted so tenderly, was forgotten at
the sight of the two portraits, and all accompanied this solemn
procession of love and loyalty.
This procession moved through the whole city until it finally
reached the triumphal arch which Maria Theresa had ordered to be
erected in honor of the wedding of her son Leopold. The Tyrolese
placed the portraits of Leopold's two sons on this triumphal arch,
and surrounded them by candles kept constantly burning; every one
then bent his knee, and exclaimed: "Long live the Emperor Francis!
Long live our dear Archduke John!" Woe unto him who should have
dared to pass these portraits without taking off his hat! the
Tyrolese would have compelled him to do it, and to bend his knee.
"Well," they exclaimed, "there is our Francis, and there is our
John. Look, does it not seem as though he were smiling at us, and
were glad of being here again and able to gaze at us? Long live our
dear Archduke John!"
And they again burst into cheers which, if the Archduke John had
been able to hear them, would have filled his heart with delight and
his eyes with tears.
These rejoicings around the eagle and the portraits lasted all day.
The whole city presented a festive spectacle, and the overjoyed
Tyrolese scarcely thought to-day of eating and drinking, much less
of the dangers which might menace them. They sang, and shouted, and
laughed; and when night came they sank down exhausted by the efforts
of the fight, and still more by their boundless rejoicings, to the
ground where they were standing, in the streets, in the gardens, in
the fields, and fell asleep.
Profound silence reigned now in the streets of Innspruck. It was
dark everywhere, bright lights beamed only from the portraits of the
emperor and the Archduke John; and the stars of heaven looked down
upon the careless and happy sleepers, the victors of Innspruck.
They slept, dreaming of victory and happiness. Woe to them if they
sleep too long and awake too late, for the enemy does not sleep! He
is awake and approaching, while the victors are sleeping.
THE CAPITULATION OF WILTAU.
The Tyrolese were still asleep, and profound stillness reigned yet
in the streets of Innspruck, although it was already after daybreak,
and the first rays of the rising sun shed a crimson lustre on the
summits of the mountains. All at once this silence was broken by a
strange, loud, and plaintive note which seemed to resound in the
air; it was followed by a second and third note; and, as if
responding to these distant calls, the large bell of the High Church
of Innspruck aroused with its ringing voice the weary sleepers to
They raised themselves from the ground; they listened, still drowsy,
to these strange notes in the air. Suddenly two horsemen galloped
through the streets, and their clarion voices struck the ears of the
"Up, sleepers!" cried Joseph Speckbacher; "do you not hear the
tossing? Rise, rise, take your rifles! the French and Bavarians are
at the gates of the city, and we must meet them again."
"Rise, Tyrolese!" shouted Major Teimer; "the French and Bavarians
are coming. We must prevent them from penetrating into Innspruck. We
must barricade the gates, and erect barricades in the streets."
The Tyrolese jumped up, fresh, lively, and ready for the fray. Their
sleep had strengthened them, and yesterday's victory had steeled
their courage. The enemy was there, and they were ready to defeat
him the second time.
The bells of all the churches of Innspruck were now rung, and those
of the neighboring village steeples responded to them. They called
upon the able-bodied men to take up arms against the enemy, whose
advanced guard could be seen already on the crests yonder. Yes,
there was no mistake about it: those men were the French and
Bavarians, who were descending the slope and approaching in strong
A Tyrolese rushed into the city. "The French are coming!" he
exclaimed, panting and breathless. "I have hurried across the
mountains to bring you the news. It is General Bisson with several
thousand French troops, and Lieutenant-Colonel Wreden with a few
hundred Bavarians. We had a hard fight with them yesterday at the
bridge of Laditch and in the Muhlbacher Klause; but they were too
strong, and were joined yesterday by another French column;
therefore, we were unable to capture them, and had to let them march
on. We killed hundreds of their soldiers; but several thousands of
them escaped, and are coming now to Innspruck."
"They will not come to Innspruck, for we are much stronger than they
are, and we will not let them enter the city," exclaimed
"No, we will not, except in the same manner in which you brought the
cavalry into the city yesterday, that is, to imprison them in the
barracks," said Major Teimer.
"Yes, yes, we will do so," shouted the Tyrolese; "we will let the
French come to Innspruck, but only as our prisoners."
"Well, let us be up and doing now, my friends," exclaimed
Speckbacher. "We must fortify the city against the enemy. Having
gone thus far yesterday, we cannot retrace our steps to-day. But we
do not want to retrace them, do we"
"No, we do not!" cried the Tyrolese.
"We have raised the Austrian eagle again," said Major Teimer, "and
the portraits of the emperor and our dear Archduke John are looking
down upon us from the triumphal arch. They shall see that we are
good soldiers and loyal sons of our country. Forward, men, let us be
up and doing! Barricade the city, the streets, and the houses; make
bullets, and put your arms ready. The French are coming Hurrah! Long
live the emperor Francis and the Archduke John!"
Deafening cheers responded to him, and then the Tyrolese rushed
through the streets to barricade the city in accordance with
The gates were immediately barricaded with casks, wagons, carts, and
every thing that could be found for that purpose; and the approaches
to the city were filled with armed men, ready to give the enemy a
warm reception. The doors of the houses were locked and bolted, and
frantic women within them boiled oil and water which they intended
to pour on the heads of the soldiers in case they should succeed in
forcing their way into the city; bullets were made and stones were
carried to the roofs, whence they were to be hurled on the enemy.
Meanwhile the tocsin resounded incessantly, as if to invite the
Tyrolese to redoubled efforts and increased vigilance.
The tocsin, however, had aroused not only the Tyrolese, but also the
Bavarians who were locked up in the barracks; the prisoners
understood full well what the bells were proclaiming. To the
Tyrolese they said: "The enemy, your enemy, is approaching. He will
attack you. Be on your guard!" To the prisoners they proclaimed:
"Your friends are approaching. They will deliver you. Be ready for
them!" And now the Bavarians began to become excited, their eyes
flashed again, the clouds disappeared from their humiliated brows;
and with loud, scornful cheers and fists clinched menacingly, they
stepped before their Tyrolese guards and cried: "Our friends are
coming. They will deliver us and punish you, and we shall wreak
bloody vengeance on you for the disgrace you have heaped upon us.
Hurrah, our friends are coming! We shall soon be free again!"
"No, you will not," shouted a loud, thundering voice; and in the
middle of the large dormitory occupied by the Bavarians appeared
suddenly the tall, herculean form of Joseph Speckbacher. On passing
the barracks, he happened to hear the cheers of the prisoners and
had entered in order to learn what was the matter. "No," he said
once more, "you will not; yon must not suppose that we shall be so
stupid as to allow you to escape. Do not rejoice therefore at the
approach of the French and your countrymen for I tell you, and I
swear by the Holy Mother of God, if the French should enter the city
victoriously, our last step before evacuating it would be to kill
every one of you. Do you hear, Tyrolese guards? If the prisoners do
not keep quiet, if they make any noise, or even threaten you, shoot
down the ringleaders! But if the enemy penetrates into the city,
then shoot them all, and do not spare a single one of them.
[Footnote: Hormayr's "History of Andreas Hofer," vol. i., p. 258. ]
We will not incur the disgrace of re-enforcing the enemy by several
thousand men. The guards at all doors here must be quadrupled, and
at the first symptom of mischief among the prisoners, you will fire
at them. Now you know, Bavarians, what is going to be done. Beware,
And Joseph Speckbacher left the hall with a proud nod of the head.
The listening Bavarians heard him repeating his rigorous
instructions to the sentinels outside; they heard also the
acclamations with which the Tyrolese responded to him. The
prisoners, therefore, became silent; they forced back their hopes
and wishes into the depths of their hearts, and only prayed inwardly
for their approaching friends, and cursed in the same manner their
enemies, the ragged mob of the peasants.
The tocsin was still ringing, and its sinister notes penetrated
likewise into the large guard-house, and spoke to the prisoners
confined there. One of these prisoners was a gloomy, broken-down old
man, General Kinkel; the other was a youth, mortally wounded and
violently delirious. It was Colonel Dittfurt. The bullet of the
Tyrolese had not killed him; he still lived, a prisoner of the
peasants, and, amidst his delirium and his agony, he was fully
conscious of his disgrace. This consciousness rendered him raving
mad; it brought words of wild imprecation to his cold, bloodless
lips; he howled with rage and pain; he called down the vengeance of
Heaven upon "the ragged mob," the peasants, who had dared to lay
hands upon him, the proud, aristocratic colonel, and rob him not
only of his life, but also of his honor. All the night long he had
raved in this manner; and it was truly horrible to hear these words,
full of contempt, hatred, and fury, in the mouth of a dying man; it
was dreadful to see this scarred form on the bloody couch, writhing
in the convulsions of death, and yet unable to die, because anger
and rage revived it again and again. At day-break Major Teimer had
entered the guard-house with a detachment of Tyrolese; and while he
repaired with some of them to General Kinkel, the other Tyrolese had
entered Colonel Dittfurt's room, to see the miracle of a man whose
head had been pierced by a bullet having vitality enough left to
rave, swear, and curse, for twenty-four hours.
Gradually the whole room became crowded with Tyrolese, who yesterday
had been the mortal foes of the colonel, but who gazed to-day with
profound compassion and conciliated hearts at the poor, mutilated
being that disdained even on the brink of the grave to consider a
peasant as entitled to equal rights and as a brother of the
Colonel Dittfurt lay on his couch with his eyes distended to their
utmost, and stared at the Tyrolese assembled round him. For some
minutes the curses and invectives had died away on his lips, and he
seemed to listen attentively to the sinister notes of the alarm-
bells which were calling incessantly upon the Tyrolese to prepare
for the struggle.
"Is that my death-knell?" he asked wearily. "Have I, then, died
already, and is it death that is lying so heavily on my breast?"
"No, sir, you still live," said one of the Tyrolese, in a low,
gentle voice. "You still live; the bells you hear are ringing the
tocsin; they aroused us because the French and Bavarians are
advancing upon the city."
"The Bavarians are coming! Our men are coming!" cried Dittfurt
exultingly, and be lifted his head as if to rise from his couch. But
the iron hand of death had already touched him and kept him
enthralled. His head sank heavily back upon the pillow, and his eyes
became more lustreless and fixed.
"They vanquished me," he said, after a pause; "I know I am a
prisoner of the peasants, and it is they who keep me chained to this
couch and prevent me from going out to participate in the contest.
Oh, oh, how it grieves me! A prisoner of the peasants! But they
fought like men, and their leader must be an able and brave officer.
Who was the leader of the peasants?"
"No one, sir," said the Tyrolese, on whom the dying officer fixed
his eyes. "We had no leader; we fought equally for God, the emperor,
and our native country."
"No, no," said Dittfurt, "that is false; I know better, for I saw
the leader of the peasants pass me often. He was mounted on a white
horse; his face was as radiant as heaven, his eyes twinkled like
stars, and in his hand he held a sword flashing like a sunbeam. I
saw the leader of the peasants, he always rode at their head, he led
them into battle, I--"
He paused, the expression of his eyes became more fixed, the shades
of death descended deeper and deeper on his forehead, which was
covered with cold perspiration.
The Tyrolese minded him no longer. They looked at each other with
exultant and enthusiastic glances. "He saw a leader at our head?"
they asked each other. "A leader mounted on a white horse, and
holding in his hand a sword flashing like a sunbeam? It must have
been St. James, the patron of the city of Innspruck. He was our
leader yesterday. Yes, yes, that is it! St. James combated at our
head, unknown to us; but he showed himself to the enemy and defeated
him. Did you not hear, brethren, what the pious priests told us of
the Spaniards who have likewise risen to fight against Bonaparte,
the enemy of the Pope and all good Christians? St. James placed
himself in Spain likewise at the head of the pious peasants; he led
them against Bonaparte and the French, and made them victorious over
the enemy, who was bent upon stealing their country and their
liberties. And since St. James got through with the Spaniards in
Spain, lie has come to the Tyrol to lend us his assistance. St.
James, our patron saint, is our leader! He assists us and combats at
And the Tyrolese, regardless of the colonel, who at this moment was
writhing in the last convulsions of death, rushed out of the room to
communicate the miracle to their brethren outside. The news spread
like wildfire from house to house, from street to street; all
shouted joyously: "St. James, our patron saint, is our leader. He
assists us and combats at our head!" [Footnote: "Gallery of heroes:
Andreas Hofer," p. 41.]
And this belief enhanced the enthusiasm of the Tyrolese, and with
the most intrepid courage they looked upon the enemy, who had by
this time come close up to the city, and was forming in line of
battle on the plain adjoining the village of Wiltau. From the houses
in the neighborhood of the triumphal arch the Tyrolese were able to
survey the whole position of the enemy; they could discern even the
various uniforms of the French and Bavarian soldiers. Up yonder, on
the roof of a house, stood Speckbacher and Teimer, and with their
eyes, which were as keen and flashing as those of the eagle, they
gazed searchingly upon the position of the enemy and that of their
own forces. The line from the village of Wiltau down to the river
Sill was occupied by the French troops under General Bisson; on the
right side of Wiltau to the Inn stood Lieutenant-Colonel Wreden with
the Bavarians, his front turned toward the city.
"Now we must surround them as in a mouse-trap, and leave them no
outlet for escape," said Major Teimer, with a shrewd wink. "Is not
that your opinion too, Speckbacher?"
"Certainly it is," replied Speckbacher. "Mount Isel yonder, in the
rear of the Bavarians, must be occupied by several thousands of our
best sharpshooters, and a cloud of our peasants must constantly
harass their rear and drive them toward Innspruck. Here we will
receive them in fine style, and chase them until they are all dead
or lay down their arms. The only important thing for us is to cut
off their retreat and keep them between two fires."
"You are right, Speckbacher; you are a skilful soldier, and are
better able to be a general than many an officer--for instance,
General Kinkel. Kinkel is an old woman; he wept and swore in one
breath when I was with him just now; he says all the time that he
will commit suicide, and yet he is not courageous enough to do it,
but preferred to comply with my demands."
"And what were your demands, Teimer?"
"I demanded that he should give me an open letter to General Bisson,
urging him to send some confidential person into the town who might
report the state of affairs, and convince him of the immense
superiority and enthusiasm of the Tyrolese, and of the impossibility
of defeating us or forcing his way through our ranks."
"And did old General Kinkel give you such a letter?"
"He did, and I will send it out now to the French camp. We must make
all necessary dispositions, that when the general sends a
confidential envoy into the town he may become fully alive to the
fact that it is impossible for him to defeat us. Above all things,
we must send several thousand sharp-shooters to Mount Isel and the
adjoining heights, in order to cut off the enemy's retreat."
The letter which Major Teimer had extorted from General Kinkel had
really the effect which he had expected from it. General Bisson sent
to Innspruck one of his staff-officers, accompanied by Lieutenant-
Colonel von Wreden, the commander of the Bavarians. A few other
officers followed these two, and repaired with them to Major Teimer,
who received them at the principal guard-house in the presence of
the most prominent Tyrolese.
Meanwhile General Bisson awaited with painful impatience the return
of the two ambassadors whom he had sent into the town; and, his eyes
constantly fixed on Innspruck, he walked uneasily up and down. But
already upward of an hour had elapsed, and the ambassadors had not
yet made their appearance. He had good reason to be uneasy and
anxious, for the situation of the French and Bavarians was now
almost desperate. He had found out at the bridge of the Eisach, on
the plain of the Sterzinger Moos, and at the Muhlbacher Klause, that
the French had to deal with an enemy who was terribly in earnest;
that the whole Tyrol was in insurrection; that Chasteler, with a
body of armed peasants, as well as a few regular troops, was
descending the Brenner, and already menacing his rear; while the
rocks and thickets in his front and flanks were bristling with the
peasants of the Innthal, who--in great strength--obstructed his
"We shall die here, for we are hemmed in on all sides," said General
Bisson, gloomily, to himself. "There is no hope left, and in the end
we may be obliged to submit to the disgrace of surrendering to the
mob of peasants. But what on earth prevents the officers from
returning to me?"
And Bisson turned his searching eyes again toward Innspruck. Now he
perceived two men approaching at a run.
He recognized them; they were the companions of his staff-officer
and Lieutenant-Colonel Von Wreden, and their pale, dismayed faces
told him that they were bearers of bad tidings.
"Where are the two gentlemen whom I sent to Innspruck?" he asked,
advancing rapidly toward them.
"They were taken into custody at Innspruck," faltered out one of
"Major Teimer said he had taken upon himself no obligation in regard
to these officers, and would retain them as hostages," panted the
other. "He then caused us to be conducted through the whole city,
that we might satisfy ourselves of the tremendous strength of the
Tyrolese and their formidable preparations. Oh, your excellency, the
peasants are much superior to us in strength, for there are at least
twenty thousand able-bodied men in their ranks; they are well armed,
and the most celebrated marksmen and the most daring leaders of the
Tyrol are among them."
"Bah! it would make no difference, even though they were ten to
one!" cried General Bisson; "for ten peasants cannot have as much
courage as one soldier of the grand army of my glorious emperor. We
will prove to them that we are not afraid of them. We will attack
them. A detachment of Tyrolese yonder has ventured to leave the
city. Fire at them! Shoot them down until not one of them is left!"
The shots crashed, the artillery boomed, but not a Tyrolese had
fallen; they had thrown themselves on the ground, so that the
bullets and balls had whistled harmlessly over their heads. But now
they jumped up and responded to the shots of the enemy; and not one
of their bullets missed its aim, but all carried death into the
ranks of the French. At the same time the sharpshooters posted on
Mount Isel, in the rear of the French and Bavarians, commenced
firing, and mowed down whole ranks of the soldiers.
General Bisson turned in dismay toward this new enemy, covered by
the thicket, which, rising almost to the summit of Mount Isel, made
the Tyrolese invisible, and protected them from the missiles of the
"We are between two fires," he murmured to himself, in dismay. "We
are caught, as it were, in a net, and will be annihilated to the
And this conviction seized all the soldiers, as was plainly to be
seen from their pale faces and terror-stricken looks.
There was a sudden lull in the fire of the Tyrolese, which had
already struck down several hundred French soldiers, and from the
triumphal arch of Innspruck issued several men, waving white
handkerchiefs, and advancing directly toward the French. It was
Major Teimer, accompanied by some officers and citizens of
Innspruck. He sent one of them to General Bisson to invite him to an
interview to be held on the public square of the village of Wiltau.
General Bisson accepted the invitation, and repaired with his staff
and some Bavarian officers to the designated place.
Major Teimer and his companions were already there. Teimer received
the general and his distinguished companions with a proud,
"General," he said, without waiting for the eminent officer to
address him, "I have come here to ask you to surrender, and order
your soldiers to lay down their arms."
General Bisson looked with a smile of amazement at the peasant who
dared to address to him so unheard-of a demand with so much calmness
"My dear sir," he said, "I am convinced that you are not in earnest,
but know full well that we never can or will comply with such a
demand. Moreover, our situation does not by any means compel us to
allow conditions to be dictated to us. Nevertheless, I am ready to
make some concessions to you. Hence, I will pledge you my word of
honor that I will neither attack you, nor injure the city of
Innspruck in the least. But in return I demand that you allow us to
pass without molestation through Innspruck, that we may march to
Augsburg in obedience to the orders of my emperor."
"And you believe we can be so stupid as to grant this demand,
general?" asked Teimer, shrugging his shoulders. "I do not want to
be beaten down, but stick to my first demand. Either you order your
troops to lay down their arms, or you will all be put to the sword."
"No, so help me God! never will I accept so arrogant a demand,"
cried the general, indignantly; "never will I incur the disgrace of
signing so ignominious a capitulation."
"Then, general, you will appear this very day before the throne of
God to account for the lives of the thousands whom you devote to an
unnecessary death. For all of you will and must die; there is no
escape for you. You know it full well, general, for otherwise you,
the proud general of Monsieur Bonaparte, and commander of several
thousand splendid French soldiers, would not have come to negotiate
here with the leader of the peasants, who knows nothing of tactics
and strategy. You know that there are enemies both in your front and
rear. Our men occupy Mount Isel, and the whole country back of Mount
Isel is in insurrection. You cannot retrace your steps, nor can you
advance, for you will never get to Innspruck, and there is no other
road to Augsburg. We have barricaded the city, and have nearly
twenty thousand men in and around Innspruck."
"But I pledged you my word that I would not attack you, nor take any
hostile steps whatever. All I want is to march peaceably through the
city; and, in order to convince you of my pacific intentions, I
promise to continue my march with flints unscrewed from our muskets,
and without ammunition."
"I do not accept your promises, they are not sufficient," said
"Well, then," cried General Bisson, in a tremulous voice, "hear my
last words. I will march on with my troops without arms; our arms
and ammunition may be sent after us on wagons."
"If that is your last word, general, our negotiations are at an
end," replied Teimer, with perfect sang-froid. "You have rejected my
well-meaning solicitude for your safety; nothing remains for me now
but to surrender you and your troops to the tender mercies of our
infuriated people. Farewell, general."
He turned his back on him and advanced several steps toward
Innspruck. At the same time he waved his arm three times.
Immediately, as had been agreed upon, the Tyrolese on Mount Isel,
and in front of Innspruck, commenced firing, and their close
discharges, admirably directed, thinned the ranks of the French
grenadiers, while the shouts with which the mountains resounded on
all sides were so tremendous that they were completely panic-struck.
General Bisson saw it, and a deadly pallor overspread his face.
Teimer stood still and gazed sneeringly at the disheartened and
terrified soldiers, and then glanced at their general.
Bisson caught this glance. "Sir," he cried, and his cry resembled
almost an outburst of despair, "pray return to me."
"Let us negotiate!"
Teimer did not approach him, he only stood still. "Come to me, if
you have any thing to say to me," he shouted; "come, and--"
The rattle of musketry, and the furious shouts of the Tyrolese, now
pouring down from all the mountains, and advancing upon the French,
drowned his voice.
To render his words intelligible to Teimer, and to hear his replies,
General Bisson was obliged to approach him, and he stepped up to him
with his staff-officers in greater haste perhaps than was compatible
with his dignity.
"What else do you demand?" he asked, in a tremulous voice.
"What I demanded at the outset," said Teimer, firmly. "I want your
troops to lay down their arms and surrender to the Tyrolese. I have
already drawn up a capitulation; it is only necessary for you and
your officers to sign it. The capitulation is brief and to the
point, general. It consists only of four paragraphs. But just listen
to the shouts and cheers of my dear Tyrolese, and see what excellent
marksmen they are!"
Indeed, the bullets of the Tyrolese whistled again at this moment
through the ranks of the enemy, and every bullet hit its man. Loud
shouts of despair burst from the ranks of the French and Bavarians,
who were in the wildest confusion, and did not even dare to flee,
because they knew full well that they were hemmed in on all sides.
General Bisson perceived the despair of his troops, and a groan
escaped from his breast. "Read the capitulation to me, sir," he
said, drying the cold perspiration on his forehead.
Teimer drew a paper from his bosom and unfolded it. He then
commenced reading, in a loud, ringing voice, which drowned even the
rattle of musketry
"In the name of his majesty the Emperor Francis I. of Austria, a
capitulation is entered into at this moment with the French and
Bavarian troops which advanced to-day from Steinach to Wiltau; the
following terms were accepted:"
"FIRST. The French and Bavarian soldiers lay down their arms on the
spot now occupied by them."
"SECONDLY. The members of the whole eighth corps are prisoners of
war; and will be delivered as such to the Austrian troops at
Schwatz, whither they will be conveyed immediately."
"THIRDLY. The Tyrolese patriots in the custody of these troops will
be released on the spot."
"FOURTHLY. The field and staff-officers of the French and Bavarian
troops will retain their baggage, horses, and side-arms, and their
property will be respected."
"You see, sir, it is impossible for me to sign this," cried General
Bisson. "You cannot expect me to subscribe my own disgrace."
"If you refuse to subscribe the capitulation, you sign thereby not
only your own death-warrant, but that of all your soldiers," said
Teimer calmly. "See, general, here is fortunately a table, for this
is the place where the people of Wiltau assemble on Sundays, and
dance and drink. Fate placed this table here for us that we might
use it for signing the capitulation. There is the capitulation; I
have already affixed to it my name and title as commissioner of the
Emperor Francis. I have also brought pen and ink with me, that you
might have no trouble in signing the document. Subscribe it,
therefore, general, and let your staff-officers do so too. Spare the
lives of your poor soldiers for you see every minute's delay costs
you additional losses."
"I cannot sign it, I cannot!" cried Bisson, despairingly. He burst
into tears, and in his boundless grief he struck his forehead with
his fist and tore out his thin gray hair with his trembling hands.
[Footnote: Hormayr's "Andreas Hofer," vol. 1, p. 257.] "I cannot
sign it," he wailed loudly.
"Sign it," cried his officers, thronging round the table.
"You must refuse no longer, for the lives of all our soldiers are at
"But my honor and good name are likewise at stake," groaned Bisson,
"and if I sign the capitulation, I shall lose both forever."
"But you will thereby preserve to the emperor the lives of upward of
three thousand of his soldiers," exclaimed the officers, urgently.
"Never will the emperor believe that this disaster might not have
been averted," wailed General Bisson. "Even were I merely
unfortunate, he would impute it to me as a crime. He will forgive me
no more than Villeneuve and Dupont. His anger is inexorable, and it
will crush me."
"Then let it crush you, general," said Teimer, calmly. "It is better
that you should be crushed than that several thousand men should now
be crushed by the Tyrolese."
"Sign, sign!" cried the French officers, stepping close up to the
table, taking up the pen, and presenting it to the general.
"Then you are all determined to sign the capitulation after I have
done so?" asked General Bisson, still hesitating.
"We are," cried the officers.
"We are ready to do so," said Major Armance, "and in proof hereof I
affix my name to the capitulation before you have signed it,
He subscribed the paper with a quick but steady hand.
Another staff-officer stepped up, took the pen, and also wrote his
"Now, general," he said, presenting the pen to Bisson.
The general took the pen, cast a last despairing glance toward
heaven and then toward his soldiers, bent over the paper to sign it.
The pen dropped from his hand, and he had to lean against the table
in order not to sink to the ground. Major Teimer drew a white
handkerchief from his pocket and waved it in the air. The Tyrolese
ceased firing immediately, and deafening cheers burst forth on all
"You see, general, you have saved the lives of your soldiers," said
Bisson only sighed, and turned to his officers. "Now, gentlemen," he
faltered out, "give orders to the troops to lay down their arms on
the spot now occupied by them."
The officers hastened away, and General Bisson started to leave
likewise, when Teimer quickly laid his hand on his arm and detained
"General," he said, "pray issue still another order."
"What order, sir?"
"You have of course brought your carriage with you; order your
coachman to drive up with it, and permit me and these gentlemen here
to enter it with you, and ride to Innspruck."
"That is to say, I am your prisoner, and you wish to make your
triumphal entrance into the city with me?"
"That is about my intention. I should like to return to the city
seated by your side; and as the good inhabitants of Innspruck are
very anxious to see a French general, one of Bonaparte's generals,
who does not come with his troops to devastate the city, to rob and
plunder, I request you to let us make our entrance in an open,
"We will do so," said Bisson, casting a sombre glance on Teimer's
shrewd face. "You are merciless to-day, sir. What is your name?"
"My name is Martin Teimer; I hold the rank of major in the Austrian
army, and Archduke John has appointed me commissioner for the
"Ah, one of the two commissioners who signed the `open order,' with
which the country was instigated to rise in insurrection?"
"And Andreas Hofer the Barbone, is the other commissioner, is he
not? I will remember it in case we should meet again."
"You will then take your revenge; that is quite natural. But to-day
WE take our revenge for the long oppressions and insults which we
have endured at the hands of the French. Come, general, let us ride
An hour afterward a long and brilliant procession moved through the
triumphal arch. It was headed by the band of the captured Bavarian
regiment, which had to play to glorify its own disgrace to-day; next
came an open carriage in which Martin Teimer sat with a radiant
face, and by his side General Bisson, pale, and hanging his head. In
another carriage followed the staff-officers, escorted by the
municipal authorities and clergy of Innspruck, and afterward
appeared the whole enormous force of the Tyrolese conducting the
disarmed prisoners in their midst. [Footnote: Hormayr's "Life of
Andreas Hofer," vol. i., p. 259.]
All Innspruck had put on its holiday attire; at all the windows were
to be seen gayly-dressed ladies and rejoicing girls, holding in
their hands wreaths, which they threw down on the victors. The bells
of all the churches were ringing, not the tocsin, but peals of joy
For the task was accomplished, the Tyrol was free! In three days
after the insurrection broke out, the Tyrolese, by means solely of
their own valor and patriotism, aided by the natural strength of the
country, had entirely delivered the province from the enemy. The
capitulation of Wiltau crowned the work of deliverance, to the
everlasting glory of the brave Martin Teimer, and to the disgrace of
General Bisson and the French and Bavarians. [Footnote: Major Teimer
was rewarded for this capitulation of Wiltau with the title of Baron
von Wiltau, and with the order of Maria Theresa. The Emperor of
Austria, besides, presented him with valuable estates in Styria.]
There were great rejoicings in Innspruck all the day long; glad
faces were to be met with everywhere, and all shouted
enthusiastically: "We have become Austrians again! We are subjects
of the Emperor of Austria again! Long live the free Tyrol! Long live
the Emperor Francis!"
The streets presented a very lively appearance; all the painters of
the city were occupied in removing the hateful Bavarian colors, blue
and white, from the signs and houses, and putting on them the
Austrian, black and gold; and the Tyrolese marksmen held a regular
target-shooting at the Bavarian lion, which, to the great disgust of
the Tyrolese, had been raised four years ago over the entrance of
the imperial palace. Prizes were awarded for every piece which was
shot from it, and the principal reward was granted to him who
pierced the crown of the lion.
Yes, the northern Tyrol was free; but the South, the Italian Tyrol,
was groaning yet under the yoke of French oppression, and Andreas
Hofer intended to march thither with his forces, as he had concerted
at Vienna with the Archduke John and Hormayr, in order to bring to
the Italian Tyrolese the liberty which the German Tyrolese had
Hence Andreas Hofer, though his heart yearned for it, had refrained
from making his solemn entrance into Innspruck, and had gone on the
17th of April to Meran, where he was to review the Landsturm of that
town and its environs, the brave men who were to accompany him on
his expedition to the Italian Tyrol.
The Tyrolese were drawn up in four lines; at their head was to be
seen Hormayr, surrounded by the priests and civil officers who had
been exiled by the Bavarians, and who were returning now with him
and the Austrian army.
A cloud of dust arose from the neighboring gorges of the Passeyr
valley, and a joyous murmur ran through the ranks of the Tyrolese.
Deafening cheers rent the air then, for Andreas Hofer galloped up on
a fine charger, followed by the men of the Passeyr valley. His face
glowed, his eyes beamed with delight, and his whole bearing breathed
unbounded satisfaction and happiness.
He shook hands with Hormayr, laughing merrily. "We have kept," he
exclaimed, "the promises we made at Vienna, have we not? And our
dear Archduke John, I suppose, will be content with us?"
"He sends the best greetings of his love to his dear Andreas Hofer,"
said Hormayr, "and thanks him for all he has done here."
"He thanks me?" asked Hofer, in surprise. "We have done only what
our hearts longed for, and fulfilled our own wishes. We wished to
become Austrians again, for Austrians means Germans; we wanted no
longer to be Bavarians, for Bavarians meant French; hence, we were
anxious to rid our mountains of the disgrace and make our country
again free and a province of Germany. We have succeeded in doing so,
for the good God blessed our efforts and helped us in our sore
distress. Now we are once more the faithful children of our dear
emperor, and the dear Archduke John will come to us and stay with us
as governor of the Tyrol."
"He certainly will, and I know that he longs to live again in the
midst of his faithful Tyrolese. But for this reason, Andy, we must
help him that he may soon come to us, and aid him in delivering the
Southern Tyrol. I have great news for you, Andy, from the Archduke
John. I wished to communicate it to you first of all. No one was to
hear of it previous to you."
"I hope it is good news, Baron von Hormayr," said Andreas Hofer,
anxiously. "The dear archduke, I trust, has not met with a disaster?
Tell me quick, for my heart throbs as though one of my dear children
were in imminent peril."
"You yourself are a child, Andy. Do you suppose I should look so
cheerful if our dear archduke had met with a disaster? And even
though such were the case, would I then be so stupid as to inform
you of it now, at this joyful hour, when it is all-important that we
should be in high spirits? No, Andy, I bring splendid news. The
Archduke John achieved yesterday glorious victory at Sacile over the
Viceroy of Italy, Eugene Beauharnais; it was a great triumph, for he
took eight thousand prisoners, and captured a great many guns. But
amidst this triumph he thought of his dear Tyrolese, and dispatched
from the battle-field a courier who was to bring to me the news and
his order to tell his dear Tyrolese that he defeated the French
Andreas Hofer, overjoyed and with his countenance full of sunshine
and happiness, galloped down the long line of his sharpshooters.
"Hurrah! my dear friends and brethren," he shouted, "the Archduke
John sends his greetings to you. and informs you that he defeated
the French yesterday at Sacile and took eight thousand prisoners and
a great many guns. Hurrah! long live the Archduke John, the future
governor of the Tyrol!"
And the Tyrolese repeated, with deafening cheers: "Hurrah! long live
the Archduke John, the future governor of the Tyrol!"
"And I have to bring you still another greeting from the Archduke
John," shouted Baron von Hormayr. "But you shall not hear it here in
the plain, but up at the ancient castle of Tyrol. It is true, the
Bavarians and the miserable French have destroyed the fine castle,
but the ruins of the ancient seat of our princes remain to us. We
will now ascend to those ruins, and up there you shall hear the
message which the Archduke John sends to you."
The whole force of the Tyrolese thereupon moved up the mountain-path
leading to the castle of Tyrol, headed by Andreas Hofer and Baron
On reaching the crest of the hill, Hofer stopped and alighted from
his horse. He knelt down amidst the ruins of the castle with a
solemn, deeply-moved face, and holding the crucifix on his breast
between his hands, and lifting his eyes to heaven, he exclaimed with
fervent devotion: "Thanks, Lord God, thanks for the aid that thou
halt hitherto vouchsafed to us! Thanks for delivering the country
and permitting us to be Austrians again! O God, grant now stability
to our work--and preserve it from falling to ruin! If Thou art
content with me, let me further serve and be useful to my native
country! I am but a weak instrument in Thy hand, my God, but Thou
hast used it, and I pray Thee not to cast it aside now, but impart
to it strength and durability, that it may last until the enemy has
been driven from the country, and the whole Tyrol is free again for
evermore! I kiss the dear soil where our princes walked in former
times, and where they swore to their Tyrolese that they should be
freemen, and that their free constitution should be sacred for all
time to come!"
He bent down, kissed the moss-grown stones, and encircled them
tenderly with his arms as though they were an altar before which he
was uttering devout vows and prayers. The Tyrolese, who had
gradually reached the summit, had silently knelt down behind Andreas
Hofer, and were praying like him.
One sentiment animated them all and illuminated their faces with the
radiant lustre of joy: the Tyrol was delivered from the foreign
yoke, and they, the sons of the country, had alone liberated their
"Now, men of the Tyrol," shouted Hormayr, "listen to the message
which the Archduke John sends to you."
And amid the solemn silence of the Tyrolese, and the peals of the
Meran church--bells penetrating up to them, Hormayr read to them a
document drawn up by the Archduke John, by virtue of which he
resumed possession of the Tyrol in the name of the emperor, declared
it to be incorporated with the imperial states, and solemnly vowed
that, as a reward of its loyalty, it should remain united with
Austria for all future time. At the same time, the ancient
constitution and the former privileges were restored to the
Tyrolese, and Baron von Hormayr was appointed governor of the Tyrol.
ELIZA WALLNER'S RETURN.
All Windisch-Matrey was again in joyful commotion to-day; for a
twofold festival was to be celebrated: the return of the men of
Windisch-Matrey, who had so bravely fought for the country and so
aided in delivering it; and then, as had been resolved previous to
their departure, Eliza Wallner's wedding was to come off to-day.
She had redeemed her pledge, she had proved that she was a true and
brave daughter of the Tyrol, and Anthony Wallner, her father, was no
longer angry with her; he wished to reward her for her courage and
intrepidity, and make her happy. Therefore, he had sent a messenger
secretly and without her knowledge to Windisch-Matrey, and had
ordered his wife to decorate the house festively, and request the
curate to repair to the church and perform the marriage rites. The
returning Tyrolese were to march to the church, and, after thanking
God for the deliverance of the Tyrol, the curate was to marry Eliza
Wallner and her lover in presence of the whole congregation.
Since early dawn, therefore, all the married women and girls of
Windisch-Matrey, dressed in their handsome holiday attire, had been
in the street, and had decorated the route which the returning men
were to take, and adorned the church with wreaths and garlands of
Wallner's wife alone had remained at home, for she had to attend to
the preparations for the wedding-banquet, with which she and her
servant-girls had been occupied during the whole of the previous
day. There were a great many things to be done yet; the table had to
be set in the large bar-room for the wedding-guests; the roasts had
to be looked after in the kitchen; and the whole house had to be
decorated, and festoons of flowers to be suspended round its
"Schroepfel might render me good service now," said Wallner's wife,
eagerly. "I have so many things to attend to, and he does not move
his hands, but sits like a log at the door of dear Ulrich von
Hohenberg, and cares for nothing else. Oh, Schroepfel, Schroepfel,
come here! I want to see you!"
At the staircase leading down into the hall appeared the sunburnt,
furrowed face of old Schroepfel.
"If you want to see me, you must come up here," he shouted. "I have
been told to stand guard here, and I will not desert my post, even
for the sake of Mrs. Wallner, until I am relieved."
"He is a queer fellow," said Mrs. Wallner, laughing, "but I must do
what he says."
She hastened up-stairs. At the door of the room where the prisoner
was confined stood the servant, pressing his face to the brown
panels of the door.
"Now, Schroepfel," asked Mrs. Wallner, laughing, "can you see
through the boards? For you put your eyes to the door as though it
were a window."
"It is a window," said Schroepfel, in a low voice, limping up a few
steps to his mistress. "I have bored four small holes in the door,
and through them I am able to see the whole room and all that the
prisoner is doing. Look, Mrs. Wallner! the hole below there is my
window when he is in bed and asleep; I can see his face through it.
The hole a little above it enables me to watch him while he is
seated at the table, and writing or reading; and through the hole up
here I can see his face when he is pacing the room."
"You are a strange fellow," said Mrs. Wallner, shaking her head.
"You watch the poor sick prisoner as though he were an eagle, always
ready to fly from the nest."
"He is about what you say," said Schroepfel, thoughtfully. "He is no
longer sick, and his wings have grown a great deal during the week
since he was here, I believe he would like to fly from here."
"Oh, no," said Mrs. Wallner, with a shrug. "He loves my Lizzie, and
I do not believe that he who loves that girl will wish to fly away
before she flies with him."
"I do not know about that; I have my own notions about it," said
Schroepfel. "He is a Bavarian for all that, and the Bavarians are
all faithless and dishonest. I swore to watch him and not lose sight
of him, and I must keep my oath; hence, I shall not leave the door
until I am relieved."
"Then you will not come down-stairs and help me fix the wreaths and
garlands, set the table, and clean the knives?"
"No, dear Mrs. Wallner, I am not allowed to do so, much as I would
like to assist you. A sentinel must never leave his post, or he will
be called a deserter, and Mr. Wallner always told me that that was a
great disgrace for an honest fellow. Now, as I am an honest fellow,
and, owing to my lame leg, cannot serve the country in any other way
than watching this prisoner, I shall stay here as a sentinel and
take good care not to desert."
"Well, do so, then," exclaimed Mrs. Wallner, half angrily, half
laughingly. "But you may go in to the gentleman and tell him to be
of good cheer, for Eliza will come back to-day, and the wedding will
take place immediately after her return, when he will be free. Tell
him to prepare for the ceremony; for, when the bells commence
ringing the returning defenders of the country will have reached the
village, and we are to go with him to the church, where the curate
will await us."
"Of course, I shall tell him all this," growled Schroepfel, and Mrs.
Wallner hastened down-stairs again.
"Yes, I shall tell him," murmured Schroepfel to himself, "but I
wonder if it will gladden his heart? During the first few days, when
he had the wound-fever, he talked strange things in his delirium,
and derided and scorned our beautiful Lizzie, who, he said, was bent
upon becoming an aristocratic lady. Since he is well again, he
abuses her no longer, but he looks very sombre, and during the whole
week he has not once inquired after his betrothed. God blast the
accursed Boafok if he should love the girl no longer, and if he did
not honestly intend to make her his wife! I will go in to him and
see how he receives the news."
Ulrich von Hohenberg was seated in his armchair, and gazing musingly
out of the window. He did not turn when the old servant entered his
room; he seemed not to have noticed his arrival, but continued
staring at the sky even when Schroepfel stood close to him. The face
of the young man was still pale and wan, and under his eyes,
formerly so clear and cheerful, were to be seen those bluish circles
indicative of internal sufferings of the body or the soul. However,
since the wound-fever had left him, he had never uttered a
complaint, and the wound, which was not very severe, had already
closed and was healing rapidly. Hence, it was doubtless grief that
imparted so gloomy and sickly an appearance to Captain Ulrich von
Hohenberg, and it was this very suspicion that rendered Schroepfel
distrustful, and caused him to watch his prisoner night and day with
He stood a few minutes patiently, and waited for the captain to
address him; but Hohenberg continuing to take no notice of him, he
resolutely laid his hand on his shoulder.
"Sir, awake!" he exclaimed sullenly.
The captain gave a slight start, and pushed the servant's hand with
an angry gesture from his shoulder.
"I am awake," he said; "it is therefore quite unnecessary for you to
lay hands on me. What is it? What do you want of me?"
"I want to tell you only that our men will return this morning, and
that this will be a great holiday in Windisch-Matrey. For our men
are victorious, and the country is delivered from the enemy. Mr.
Wallner has written to us that the brave Tyrolese delivered the
whole country in three days, that they have taken prisoners eight
thousand infantry and one thousand cavalry, and captured eight guns,
two stands of colors, and two French eagles. Besides, several
thousand French and Bavarians have perished in the gorges and on the
battle-fields. Very few of our own men have been killed, and not one
of them made prisoner. Now the whole country is free, and our
victorious men are coming home."
Not a muscle in the captain's face had betrayed that he had heard
Schroepfel's report. He still stared quietly at the sky, and his
features expressed neither grief nor surprise at the astounding
"You do not ask at all, sir, if Eliza Wallner will return with the
men?" asked Schroepfel, angrily. "I should think you ought to take
some interest in that, for Lizzie is your betrothed."
"She is not!" cried the captain, starting up indignantly, with
flushed cheeks and flashing eyes.
"Yes, she is," said Schroepfel, composedly. "I myself heard the girl
say to her father and the men of Windisch-Matrey: 'He is my
bridegroom; I love him, and you must not kill him.' And because she
said so, the men spared your life, although Anthony Wallner-
Aichberger was very angry, and would not forgive his daughter for
having given her heart to an enemy of her country, a Bavarian, and,
moreover, a nobleman, and not to an honest peasant. But Lizzie
begged and wailed so much that her father could not but yield, and
promised her to forgive all if she proved that she was no traitoress
to her country, but a true and brave daughter of the Tyrol; after
doing so, he would permit her to marry her Bavarian betrothed. And
now she has proved that she is a true and brave daughter of the
Tyrol, and the whole country is full of the heroic deeds performed
by Lizzie Wallner, and of the intrepidity which she displayed under
the most trying circumstances. And to-day, captain, you will meet
again your betrothed, who saved your life, and who went with the men
only to perform heroic deeds that would induce her father to consent
to her union with you. I tell you, sir, beautiful Lizzie Wallner,
your betrothed, will return in an hour or two."
The young man's face crimsoned for a moment, and when the color
disappeared from his cheeks, their pallor was even more striking and
ghastly than before.
"Eliza Wallner fought, then, very bravely against--against my
countrymen?" he asked, pantingly.
"No, she did not fight, sir, but she went into the thickest shower
of bullets to carry away the wounded Tyrolese, and attend to their
injuries; and she drove a hay-wagon directly toward the enemy, and
our men were concealed behind the hay, and she brought a keg of wine
to our men while the bullets were whistling round her; and, finally,
she and the other women escorted the Bavarian prisoners to Castle
The young man uttered a cry, and buried his face in his hands.
"What a disgrace, oh, what a disgrace!" he groaned, despairingly;
and in his grief he seemed to have entirely forgotten the presence
of the servant, for he wept, wept so bitterly that large scalding
tears trickled down between his fingers. "Our brave soldiers were
defeated by miserable peasants," he wailed. "The Bavarian prisoners
were marched off under an escort of women!"
Schroepfel stood as if petrified, and this outburst of the grief of
the usually haughty and laconic young man filled him with the utmost
surprise and confusion.
However, the captain suddenly dried his tears and dropped his hands
from his face.
"And Eliza Wallner, you say, led the women who escorted the Bavarian
prisoners?" he asked, in a firm, almost menacing voice.
"Yes, sir, she did," said Schroepfel. "And now her father is
reconciled with her, and, to prove it, he will marry his daughter to
The captain said nothing; only a proud, scornful smile played around
his lips for a moment.
"Yes," added Schroepfel, "the wedding will come off to-day.
Immediately after their return the procession will move to the
church, where a thanksgiving service will be held; it will be
followed by the marriage ceremony. Mr. Wallner wrote to his wife to
send you to the church as soon as the bells commenced ringing, and
to keep you in the vestry until you were sent for. Remember,
therefore, as soon as the bells commence ringing, I shall call for
you and take you to the vestry."
The young man was silent, and gazed thoughtfully before him; be then
threw back his head with an air of bold resolution.
"All right," he said, "I shall accompany you. Did you not say that
my baggage had been sent hither from the castle?"
"Yes, yes, Miss Elza sent every thing hither by her servants, and
she herself came with them. And during the first days, when you had
the wound-fever, she came here at least three times a day and asked
how you were, and cried and lamented, and entreated me for God's
sake to admit her to your room only for a brief moment. But I had
sworn not to admit any one to my prisoner, nor to permit him to
speak with any one; hence, I could not make an exception even in
favor of the kind-hearted young lady. She comes nevertheless every
day and inquires about you; and she begged hard and long until Mrs.
Wallner permitted her to send your dinner always from the castle. As
you will be free to-day, I may tell you all this, for it will no
longer do any harm."
"No, it will no longer do any harm," said the captain, with a
peculiar smile. "Listen, I wish to dress up for to-day's ceremony,
and don my gala uniform. Therefore be so kind as to fetch it."
"I will, captain, I will fetch the uniform and be back directly,"
said Schroepfel, cheerfully, limping hastily toward the door. But
outside he stood still and pressed his finger thoughtfully to his
nose. "I do not know exactly what to think of it," he murmured to
himself. "At first he uttered a loud cry and said Lizzie Wallner was
not his betrothed; afterward he lamented piteously because Lizzie
Wallner escorted the Bavarian prisoners; and finally he asked for
his gala uniform in order to dress up for the ceremony. Well, we
shall see very soon if he has honest intentions toward Lizzie and
really loves her. If he thinks he can play her a trick, he had
better, beware, for I shall never lose sight of him; I shall always
be behind him, and if he does not treat the girl as he ought to, I
will strike him down with my fists like a mad bull! I will do it, so
help me God!"
The bells were ringing, the men were rejoicing, and the girls of
Windisch-Matrey and its environs took position with baskets of
flowers on both sides of the street. For the victorious defenders of
the country were approaching; their cheers were already heard at a
distance; and they already saw the merry boys who had gone out to
meet them, and who now headed the procession amid manifestations of
the liveliest delight. Yes, they were coming, they were coming!
Yonder, down the mountain-slope, moved the motley procession of the
Tyrolese, resembling a glittering serpent of gigantic proportions.
How their rifles flashed in the sun! How beautifully the bouquets
adorned their pointed green hats! And now they were already able to
distinguish the faces and the individual forms. Immediately behind
the boys, at the head of the procession, walked Anthony Wallner-
Aichberger. How splendid the commander-in-chief looked; and how
beautiful was Lizzie, walking by his side, handsomely dressed, and
wearing a beautiful bouquet in her bosom! Her attentive father had
despatched a special messenger to his wife for Lizzie's holiday
dress and her trinkets, so that Lizzie, the pride and joy of his
heart, might make her entrance in a becoming manner into Windisch-
Lizzie looked really splendid in her holiday attire. Her raven hair,
flowing down in heavy tresses on her neck, was interwoven with dark
red ribbons, and large rosettes of the same color were fastened with
silver pins to her head. Her low-necked corset, adorned with silver
trimmings, was fastened on the breast with silver chains; and above
it rose a white chemisette trimmed with laces, and veiling chastely
her faultless bust and beautifully-shaped shoulders. Large white
sleeves covered her arms and were fastened to her wrists with dark-
red rosettes. An ample skirt of fine dark-red wool, trimmed with
black velvet, fell from her slender waist down to her ankles, and
her small feet were encased in handsome stockings and shoes adorned
with large silver buckles. The boys had brought to her the splendid
bouquet which she wore in her bosom, and had told her, amid laughter
and cheers, that her betrothed sent her the bouquet as a wedding-
But these words had rendered Lizzie silent and sad. The smile had
disappeared from her lips, and the color had faded from her cheeks;
she looked anxiously at her father, but he nodded to her and said
laughingly: "Do not ask me any questions to-day, Lizzie, for I will
not tell you any thing. Await quietly the events that will take
place, and bear in mind that your father loves you dearly, and is
anxious to make his little daughter happy and contented."
Eliza tried to divine what these words of her father meant, and a
gloomy foreboding, a terror which she was unable to explain to
herself, filled her heart.
She listened no longer to the joyous shouts of the boys, and ceased
singing with Panzl the fine songs of the Tyrolese mountains, but
walked along, pale, silent, and hanging her head.
Now they reached Windisch-Matrey, and stood still at the entrance of
the street, where the clergy, municipal authorities, and the
beautifully-dressed girls, bade them welcome. Oh, it was a soul-
stirring moment, a sacred festival of welcome! The brave men had
gone out to fight for their native country, their emperor, and the
liberties of the Tyrol; and God had granted them victory. He had
assisted them in all contests, the country was free, the emperor was
again master of the Tyrol, and the men of Windisch-Matrey returned
victoriously to their homes. All seemed to greet them with glowing
looks of love; the whole earth seemed to shout "Welcome!" to them.
Even the glistening snow-clad summits of the Gross-Glockner seemed
to look at them over the other mountains with an air of curiosity
and solemn kindness; and on the green mountain-pastures stood the
red cows so proud and handsome, as if they had placed themselves
there for the purpose of adorning the landscape for the returning
heroes. And the wild Iselbach murmured merrily at the roadside and
sent its silvery spray into the air, and the boys laughed and sang;
the bells pealed so loudly and solemnly, and received ringing
responses from the villages farther down in the valley; the priests
stood with solemn, devout faces at the entrance of the place,
blessing the heroes with uplifted hands, and eyes turned to heaven;
and the girls and matrons, strewing flowers to the returning men,
stood on both sides of the street, and greeted them with beaming
Oh, this sweet, sublime moment silenced all cares and doubts. The
smile returned to Eliza's lips, her cheeks crimsoned, and her eyes
beamed with the purest joy. With a loud cry of delight she threw
herself into the arms of her mother, and kissed her a thousand
times, and scarcely listened to the address of the curate, who
returned thanks to her in the name of the whole parish for her
courage and the assistance she had rendered to her countrymen
wounded in battle.
But now Eliza heard a dear familiar voice, which caused her to raise
herself from her mother's arms and look up. Yes, it was the old,
kind-hearted Baron von Hohenberg who was standing before her, and
held out his hand to her with his sunniest and kindest smile. "My
brave daughter," he said, feelingly, "give me your hand. You know
that I love you as though you were my own child, and now I am proud
of you, for you have become a heroine, and have done honor to our
Tyrol. Elza was right after all in always calling you another Maid
of Orleans, and saying you were a born heroine."
"But where is Elza?" said Lizzie, anxiously, to the old castellan.
"Here I am, dearest Eliza," said the young lady, who had hitherto
kept herself behind her father and the clergyman.
"Oh, my Elza, my dear, dear Elza!" exclaimed Eliza, rapturously; and
she encircled her friend's neck with her arms, and imprinted a
glowing kiss on her lips.
But she felt that Elza's lips quivered, that she did not return the
kiss, nor press the friend to her heart; and it seemed to Eliza as
though a cold hand suddenly touched her heart and pressed it rudely
and cruelly. She raised her head from Elza's shoulder, and looked
her full in the face. It was not until now that she saw how pale
Elza was, how red her eyes with weeping, and how forced her smile.
"You are sick, Elza," she said, anxiously.
"No," whispered Elza, "I am not."
"Then you love your Lizzie no longer?" asked Eliza, pressingly.
"Yes, I do," said Elza, in a hollow voice, and with a wondrously
mournful smile. "I do love you, and, to prove it, I present you with
this wreath. God bless you, dear Lizzie; may He grant you
"Elza," cried Eliza, anxiously, "Elza, pray come to me and tell me
what it means, what--"
"Hush, Lizzie, hush," said her father, seizing her hand and drawing
her forward. "Do you not see that the procession is moving on, and
that we must go with it? See, the curate and the castellan are
already far ahead, and we must go too."
"But where, father, where?"
"To the church, you dear little goose!"
"To the church? What are we to do there? Why do we not go home?"
"Have you become so impious during your campaign, Lizzie, as not to
know that we must always render homage to God first and above all
things? We are going to church to return thanks; come with me, and
ask no more questions."
"But I will take off the myrtle-wreath!" exclaimed Lizzie, lifting
her hand anxiously to the wreath. But her father drew back her hand.
"No, Lizzie," he said, "do not remove the wreath. It fits well on
"But I am no bride going to church on her wedding-day."
"Really, Lizzie, are you not," asked her father, laughing.
"But hush now, my child, we are already at the church-door, and do
you not hear the glorious swelling notes of the organ? Let us enter
the church, dear Lizzie."
He drew her forward, and Eliza followed him: but indescribable
anguish oppressed her soul; she did not know why, and she felt as
though something dreadful were about to happen here, and as though
she ought to flee, flee far into the mountains, into solitude.
But her father held her by the hand, and walked with her up the main
aisle to the large altar. Rows of chairs, decorated with flowers,
had been placed here, and Eliza had to seat herself on one of these
chairs; by her side sat her father; opposite her, the castellan and
her friend Elza; then came the municipality, and John Panzl,
lieutenant-commander of the men of Windisch-Matrey, and behind them
stood the dense crowd of the sharpshooters of the Pusterthal.
Eliza cast a searching glance on the dense crowd; she looked at all
the pews, and yet she did not know what she was looking for, nor
what alarmed her heart so much.
All at once she started in sudden terror, and her cheek turned
deadly pale. Yonder, behind the windows of the vestry, she beheld a
young man in a handsome uniform; it was he, he whom she had looked
for without knowing it herself; he from whose sight her heart had
shrunk with anxiety and dismay. And yet Eliza had longed to see him,
for she had been uneasy on his account; she had feared lest he
should still suffer gravely from the consequences of his wound. But
she had not dared to ask any one about him; hence, she was glad to
see that he was well, and showed her gladness in her gaze at him.
Their eyes met, but he looked upon her with an expression of hatred
and contempt; a haughty, disdainful smile played round his lips, and
he threw back his head superciliously, instead of nodding pleasantly
Eliza felt a terrible pain in her heart; she wished to jump up, she-
-All at once she heard her name drop from the lips of the curate,
who was standing before the altar, and who had just concluded the
thanksgiving prayer. What did he say--why did he mention her? She
held her breath to listen to him. Great heavens! another name fell
from the curate's lips. He uttered the name of Ulrich von Hohenberg;
he proclaimed him the bridegroom of Eliza Wallner, who was present;
he called upon Captain Ulrich von Hohenberg to appear before the
altar, and receive the consecration of his union with his betrothed
in the presence of all these witnesses.
With a hollow groan, crushed, and as if broken-hearted, Eliza sank
back into her chair, and her pale lips murmured
"Now I am lost, and so is he?"
"Ulrich von Hohenberg," shouted the priest at the altar, "come
hither and take your bride by the hand."
The door of the vestry opened, and Ulrich von Hohenberg stepped in.
His tall, slender form presented a very fine appearance in the
brilliant gala uniform; a flashing cross adorned his breast; in his
hand he held his gold-laced hat, with the waving white plume; only
the sword was wanting to his side, and this alone betokened his
humiliating position, and showed that he was a prisoner amidst all
these armed men. But the consciousness of this fact seemed not to
humiliate him, for he walked up, his head proudly raised, and his
stern, cold eyes gazing scornfully upon the assembly.
He stepped close up to the altar. "Reverend father," he said, in a
clear, loud voice to the priest, "you have called me. Here I am.
What do you want of me?"
"I have called you, Ulrich von Hohenberg, to marry you to your
betrothed. Eliza Wallner, step to the side of your bridegroom."
But Eliza Wallner did not rise from her chair; she leaned her head,
almost in a swoon, against the back of her chair, and stared, as if
unconscious of what was going on around her, at the priest and the
young man, who fixed his eyes on her at this moment with an air of
"Eliza Wallner," he cried aloud, "do not come hither, for I am not
your betrothed, and never shall you become my wife! "
A deafening cry of rage burst from all lips: the eyes of all the
brave men in the church flashed with anger, and they laid their
hands menacingly on their rifles.
But Anthony Wallner sprang to his feet, pale with rage, his eyes
shooting fire, like those of an angry tiger, rushed toward the
captain, and sized his arm.
"What!" he cried, furiously, "you infamous, perjured scoundrel,
refuse to marry my daughter? First you stole her love, you promised
to marry her, and now that I would give her to you, you refuse to
"Yes, I do," cried Ulrich von Hohenberg, almost joyously. "Never
will Eliza Wallner, the peasant-girl, become my wife; never will I
stoop so low as to allow a wife to be forced upon me, merely to save
my life, and least of all her who has fought against my countrymen
and brethren; who participated in the studied insult inflicted upon
the brave soldiers of my king, and in the infamous treason you have
all committed against your king and lord. Yes, I tell you, you are
infamous rebels and traitors, and you think I, Captain Ulrich von
Hohenberg, a soldier who took the oath of allegiance to his king,
could act so dishonorably and meanly as to join the rebels! No,
never! Never will the daughter of the rebel Anthony Wallner become
my wife! Kill me now if you want to do so. You may take my life, but
you cannot dishonor me!"
Eliza sat still motionless, and as if petrified. She had heard, as
if in a dream, the captain's words; and, as if in a dream, she saw
that Schroepfel rushed forward and raised his powerful arm against
him, and that all the men crowded up to him with menacing gestures;
as if in a dream, she heard wild shouts and imprecations.
All at once two ice-cold, trembling hands seized Eliza's arms, and a
beloved voice penetrated her ear with the vehemence of mortal
anguish and terror.
"Eliza!" cried this voice--"Eliza, will you allow them to kill him?"
"Elza!" murmured Eliza, as if starting up from a trance, "Elza, what
is the matter?"
"They will assassinate him, Eliza!" wailed Elza. "They have tied and
gagged him, and say that they will take him out and shoot him.
Eliza, you alone can save him! Have mercy, forget what he said in
his rage and grief. Have mercy upon him, upon me! For I tell you,
they will assassinate him. Oh, see, they are forming a circle round
him, and dragging him down the aisle! They are taking him out to the
public place! They intend to shoot him! Save him, Eliza, save him!"
Eliza made no reply; she sprang up from her seat and hastened down
the aisle after the men, who were just issuing from the church-door,
and in whose midst was walking Captain Ulrich von Hohenberg,
conducted by Anthony Wallner, and his servant, lame old Schroepfel,
his hands tied on his back, and a gag in his mouth.
But the sharpshooters surrounded the prisoner like a thick,
impenetrable wall. Vainly did Eliza beg and implore the men to let
her pass; vainly did she try with the strength of despair to elbow
her way through the ranks. The men pushed her back impetuously.
"You shall not intercede. in behalf of the infamous villain," they
said; "you shall not save the life of the mean Bavarian who calls us
rebels and traitors, and yet did not keep his own word. He shall and
must die, he has forfeited his life." And their strong arms pushed
her from the circle which they now formed on the large place in
front of the church. In its middle stood the captain, by his side
Anthony Wallner, and behind him Schroepfel, like a watch-dog ready
at any moment to tear his enemy.
Anthony lifted his arm with slow, solemn tranquillity, and dropped
it heavily on the captain's shoulder.
"Ulrich von Hohenberg," he said, "you are an infamous villain, for
you pledged your word to my daughter that you would marry her, and
now you repudiate her. You are a liar and a slanderer, for you call
us infamous rebels and traitors merely because we fought for our
country and our emperor. Therefore, you have sinned against God,
man, and honor. Ulrich von Hohenberg, you must die!"
"Yes, you must die!" shouted the men; and they took the rifles from
their shoulders and loaded them.
Anthony Wallner and Schroepfel stepped back from the prisoner, and
the men who had stood behind him moved out of the way. Hence the
circle, which had hitherto been impenetrable, now opened. Eliza saw
it, and sprang forward, regardless of the sharpshooters, who were
just raising their muskets, regardless of the danger menacing
herself. Pale, with panting breath, her hands lifted to heaven, she
sped across the open space toward the captain, and, placing herself
before him, exclaimed, with flashing eyes, and in an exulting voice:
"Now shoot, men, shoot! For I tell you he shall not die alone, and
if you shoot him, you shall kill me too."
"Eliza!" cried her father, beseechingly, and withal angrily, "Eliza,
stand back! He is a traitor, and must die."
"He is no traitor, nor must he die; and if you assassinate him you
shall assassinate me too," cried Eliza.
"But, Lizzie, did you not hear, then, how he repudiated and abused
you, the faithless Bavarian?" asked her father.
"I did, and I forgive him," she said gently, "for I know full well
that he does not mean what he says. Are you so stupid, men, as not
to comprehend that he cannot act otherwise, and that he must speak
thus and not otherwise? Father, you said I was a true daughter of
the Tyrol, and that you loved me and were content with me. I pray
you, then, dearest father, spare the life of my betrothed until to-
morrow morning, and have him taken back as a prisoner to our house
until then. Schroepfel may watch him, and not take his eyes from
him. Oh, dear, kind friends, brave men, have mercy upon me! Bear in
mind that we fought together for our beloved country, and that you
told me you would never forget me, and would comply with my wishes
whenever you could. I wish now that you spare the life of my
betrothed only until to-morrow morning."
"He says he is not your betrothed, Lizzie, and will never marry
you!" exclaimed the men, with irresolute faces, and already half
softened by the beseeching, touching expression of Eliza's
"He says so," she said, casting a fiery glance on the captain, who
stood pale and motionless, heard every word, and was unable to make
a reply; "he says so, but I know that he loves me, and will be
joyously ready to-morrow morning to do what I ask of him. Father,"
she added, in a low voice, seizing Anthony Wallner's arm, and
drawing him aside quickly, "do you not comprehend, then, that Ulrich
cannot speak differently? Would not his king, after his return to
Bavaria, pronounce him a traitor, and charge him with having joined
us and the Austrians, and with having convicted himself by marrying
a Tyrolese girl? Be wise, dearest father, and see how shrewdly
Ulrich manages every thing, and that he acts precisely as I told
him. It must look as though he did not marry me of his own accord,
but compelled by you; otherwise his king and his father, who is a
very proud man, would never forgive him. But when they hear what has
occurred here, and that you threatened to shoot Ulrich because he
would not marry me, the gentlemen at Munich will understand that
Ulrich had to take me in order to save his life."
"And are you satisfied to have it look as though he married you only
under compulsion?" asked her father, gloomily.
"I am, father," she said, "for I love my betrothed; and he shall not
become unhappy for my sake and forfeit the good graces of his king
and his father. State all this to your friends, dear father, and
tell them to let Ulrich and me alone for to-day; but ask them all to
come to our house to-morrow morning and accompany the bride and
bridegroom to the church, for Ulrich will marry me at nine to-morrow
"But, Lizzie, why not to-day?" asked her father. "Why not at this
"It will not do, father. If you had told me beforehand what was to
be done here, I should have told you at once what I am telling you
now: it will not do for a young girl to appear before God's altar
without due preparation, and as though she were going to a dance.
What I am going to do is something very serious, and I will do it
seriously. I will pray to God to-day, go to confession, and have a
great many things to talk over with Ulrich, for I know he wants me
to set out with him immediately after we have been married, and that
it may not look as though he had stayed voluntarily with you in our
valley. I must, therefore, pack up my things and prepare for
departing as soon as we have been married. Let us alone, then, dear
father, to-day, and invite the men to come to-morrow morning and
attend my marriage with Captain Ulrich von Hohenberg."
"Well, then, Lizzie, I will comply with your wishes," said Wallner,
after a short reflection. "I will give you and him time until to-
morrow morning; but I tell you, my daughter, if he continues the
same game to-morrow, and talks then in the same strain as to-day, I
shall take the jest in dead earnest, and will not believe a word of
all you say to excuse him: and then his life is forfeited, and he
must die.--No, Schroepfel, come here; take the prisoner back to my
house, and confine him where you have kept him for a week past. But
I tell you, watch him well, and admit no one to him except Lizzie,
and prevent him from talking with anybody but his betrothed."
"I will do so, and watch him as I have done up to this time," said
Schroepfel, gloomily. "He shall not talk with anybody, and I should
like it best if he were not permitted either to speak with Lizzie,
for I do not believe at all that she is his betrothed."
"We shall see to-morrow morning, when the marriage is to take
place," said Anthony Wallner.--"Take the prisoner away."
"You let him go?" exclaimed the men. "You spare his life?"
"Only until to-morrow morning, because Lizzie begged me to do so,"
said Anthony Wallner. "The wedding will take place at nine to-morrow
morning; I invite you all to attend it, men, and we shall see then.
To-morrow morning there will be a wedding or an execution. Now let
us speak no more of it to-day; let us forget what has happened to
Anthony Wallner and his daughter; and let us bear in mind only that
we have returned after delivering our dear Tyrol from the French and
Bavarians. Let us go now to my house, where my wife awaits us with a
keg of excellent wine. Come, we will drink to the welfare of our
fatherland, and to the health of our dear Emperor Francis!"
ELIZA AND ULRICH
Schroepfel, the faithful servant, had taken Ulrich von Hohenberg, in
obedience to Anthony Wallner's order, back to the small room where
he had passed the last eight days as a prisoner. Since he had him
again in his custody, no additional precautions were necessary, for
Schroepfel knew that he could rely on his own vigilance, and that
the prisoner surely would never escape from him. Hence, he loosened
the cords with which he had been tied, and removed the handkerchief
with which he had been gagged.
"If it affords you pleasure," said Schroepfel, "you may use your
mouth and inveigh against Lizzie Wallner, who has saved your life
to-day a second time, and whom you rewarded like a genuine Bavarian,
that is to say, with black ingratitude and treachery. But I advise
you not to abuse her loud enough for me to hear you outside, for I
am not a patient as Lizzie, and I shall never permit you to abuse
and treat so contemptuously the noblest and best girl in the whole
country. She acted toward you to-day as a good Christian and a brave
girl, for you insulted her, and she not only forgave you, but
protected you and saved your life. And now, sir, abuse her if you
cannot help it; but I tell you once more, do not speak too loud lest
I should hear you."
And Schroepfel turned with a last threatening glance and left the
room. Outside he sat down on the cane-settee which, for the past
eight days, had been his seat by day and his couch by night; and he
pressed his eye to the middle hole which he had bored in the door.
He could distinctly see and watch the captain through it. Ulrich had
sunk down on a chair and leaned his head on his hand; he lifted his
sombre eyes to heaven, and there was a strange expression of emotion
and grief upon his face. But he seemed not to intend availing
himself of the permission which Schroepfel had given him to abuse
Lizzie Wallner, for his lips were firmly compressed, and not a sound
fell from them. Or could Schroepfel, perhaps, not hear him, because
the men down in the bar-room were laughing and shouting so merrily,
and speaking so loudly and enthusiastically of the Tyrol, and
drinking the health of the emperor and the Archduke John, who had
again taken possession of the country and solemnly proclaimed that
he would restore the ancient and liberal constitution of the
"How merry they are down-stairs!" growled Schroepfel. "I might be
there to; I have amply deserved to have a little exercise and
pleasure. Instead of that I must site here with a dry mouth; and if
this goes on much longer, I shall surely grow fast to my settee. And
all that for the sake of the mean, perfidious Bavarian, who is
utterly dishonest, and who treated our beautiful, noble Lizzie in so
infamous a manner! Well, if I were in the girl's place, I would not
take the perfidious wretch who has denied her twice already. Oh, how
merry they are down-stairs! No one thinks of me and gives me a drop
of wine that I may likewise drink to the welfare of the fatherland."
But Schroepfel was mistaken for once, for quick footsteps ascended
the staircase at this moment, and now appeared the lovely head of
Eliza Wallner above the railing, then her whole form, and a second
afterward she stood in the passage close before Schroepfel. In her
hands she held a plate with a large piece of the fine cake which her
mother herself had baked, and a large glass of excellent red wine.
"There, good, faithful Schroepfel," she said in her gentle voice,
nodding to him pleasantly, and handing the plate to him, "eat and
drink, and let me in the mean time go and see your prisoner."
"What do you want of him?" asked Schroepfel, moodily.
"I want to see him about our wedding to-morrow," said Eliza calmly;
"and you know father has given me permission to go to him and speak
"Yes, he did, and I cannot prevent you from entering, which I would
do otherwise," growled Schroepfel. "Go in, then, but do not stay too
long; and if he should abuse you again, pray call me, and I will
"Thank you, dear Schroepfel," said Eliza, "but pray admit me now."
Schroepfel withdrew his settee from the door and allowed Eliza to
open it, and, entering to the prisoner, closed it again behind her.
Ulrich von Hohenberg still sat, as Schroepfel had seen him, at the
table, leaning his head on his hand; only he had now covered his
eyes with his hands, and long sighs issued from his breast. He
seemed not to know that the door had opened and some one had
entered, or rather perhaps he thought it was only Schroepfel, and he
did not wish to take any notice of him.
Eliza Wallner stood leaning against the wall, and gazed at him a
long time with a wondrous expression of love and grief; for a moment
she laid her hand on her bosom, as if to stifle the cry which her
lips were already about to utter; then she cast a beseeching glance
toward heaven, and, as if strengthened by this mute invocation, she
"Captain Ulrich von Hohenberg!" she said, in her sweet, melodious
He gave a start, dropped his hand from his face, and jumped up.
"Eliza Wallner!" he said, breathlessly and in great confusion.
She only nodded her head, and fixed her clear, piercing eyes with a
proud, reproachful expression on his face; he dropped his eyes
before her gaze. On seeing this, Eliza smiled, and, crossing the
room with a rapid step, went to the window.
"Come here, sir, and look at that. What do you see yonder?"
Ulrich stepped to her and looked out. "I see the mountains and the
summits of the glaciers," he said; "and in the direction in which
you are pointing your finger, I see also my uncle's castle."
"Do you see also the balcony, Ulrich von Hohenberg?" she asked,
"I do," he replied, almost timidly.
She looked at him with the proud and lofty air of a queen.
"When we met last and spoke with each other, we stood on yonder
balcony," added Eliza. "Do you remember what we said at the time,
"Eliza," he murmured--
"You remember it no longer," she interrupted him, "but I do. On
yonder balcony you swore to me that you loved me boundlessly; and
when I laughed at you, you invoked heaven and earth to bear witness
of your love. Now, sir, heaven and earth gave you an opportunity to
prove your ardent love for Eliza Wallner. Did you profit by that
"No," he said, in a low voice; "it is true, I acted harshly and
cruelly toward you, I occasioned you bitter grief, I--"
"I do not complain," she exclaimed, proudly. "I do not speak of
myself, but only of you. You swore eternal love to me at that time,
but you did so as a mendacious Bavarian; I did not believe you, and
knew full well that you had no honest intentions toward me. For this
reason I laughed at you, and said the peasant-girl was no suitable
match for you, and rejected all your oaths and protestations of
"But afterwards, to punish me for venturing to speak of love to
you," he exclaimed, impetuously, "you feigned to have believed my
protestations and oaths; and although you had previously laughed at
me, you wished now to become my wife."
"No," she said, with a fiery glance of disdain; "no, afterwards I
only wished to save your life. You have utterly mistaken Eliza
Wallner's character, Ulrich von Hohenberg. You thought Lizzie
Wallner would deem herself exceedingly fortunate to become the wife
of an aristocratic gentleman, even though he took her only by
compulsion: you thought she would be content to leave the Tyrol by
the side of the nobleman who disdained her, and go to the large
foreign city of Munich, where the aristocracy would scorn and mock
the poor Tyrolese girl. No, sir, I tell you, you have utterly
mistaken my character. I attach no value whatever to your
aristocratic name, nor to the distinguished position of your family;
when I marry, I shall choose a husband who loves me with all his
heart, and who does not wish to live without me, and takes me of his
own accord, and with the full enthusiasm of a noble heart. But he
would have to remain in the mountains and be a son of the Tyrol; for
my heart is attached to the mountains, and never would I or could I
leave them to remove to a large city. You see, therefore, Ulrich,
that a marriage with you would by no means appear to me a very
fortunate thing; and, moreover, if you had allowed yourself to be
compelled to marry me, had you not refused to do so, I should have
despised you all my life long as a miserable coward. I thank you,
therefore, for resisting the men so bravely, for I should have been
sorry to be obliged to despise you; you are my dear Elza's cousin,
and I myself have always liked you so well."
"Eliza," he exclaimed, impetuously, "you are an angel of goodness
and lenity, and I stand before you filled with shame and grief. You
say you always liked me so well, and I treated you with so much
ingratitude and disdain! Oh, let me press this dear hand to my lips,
let me thank you for all that you have done for me!"
He tried to seize her hand, but she withdrew it from him quickly.
"Captain von Hohenberg," she said, "we are no longer on the balcony
yonder; nor is it necessary that you should kiss my hand. That may
be suitable when you have fair ladies from the city before you, but
not when you are speaking with a Tyrolese girl. Besides, I did not
tell you all this to obtain praise and admiration from you, but to
prevent you from taking me for a mean-spirited girl, respecting
herself so little as to try to get a husband in so dishonorable a
manner. No, by the Holy Virgin, I would rather die and be buried
under an avalanche than act so meanly and disgracefully. But when
the peasants were going to kill you, there was no other way for me
to save your life than that of saying that you were my betrothed,
and that was the only reason why I said so. How. ever, I had no idea
that the wedding was to take place to-day, for my dear father had
concealed it from me, and wished to surprise me, because he really
believed that I loved you. If I had known beforehand what father had
in view, I should have devised some way of preventing him from
carrying his plan into effect. But I swear to you, I had no inkling
of it. Therefore, I beg your pardon, sir, for the harsh treatment
you received at their hands for my sake."
"Eliza," he said, mournfully, "your words rend my heart. Oh, do not
be so gentle and generous! Be angry with me, call me an infamous
villain, who, in his blindness, did not penetrate your magnanimity
and heroic self-sacrifice; do not treat me with this charming
mildness which crushes me! You acted like an angel toward me, and I
treated you like a heartless barbarian."
"I forgive you with all my heart, and therefore you may forgive
yourself," she said, with a gentle smile. "But let us speak no
longer of the past; let us think only of the future. You heard what
father said: 'To-morrow morning there will be a wedding or an
"Well, then, there will be a wedding to-morrow morning," exclaimed
Ulrich, casting an ardent glance on the young girl; "yes, there will
be a wedding to-morrow morning. Pray, Eliza, save my life a third
time to-morrow; become my wife!"
"I will save your life," she said, throwing back her head, proudly;
"but fortunately it is unnecessary for me to become your wife for
that purpose. I have come here only to save you. Sir, you must
"Escape," he said, shrugging his shoulders; "escape, when Schroepfel
is guarding my door?"
"Hush! do not speak so loud, sir; he might hear you, and he must
know nothing about it. Bend your head closer to me and listen: Go to
bed early this evening, but extinguish your light beforehand, lest
Schroepfel should see any thing. My mother told me Schroepfel had
bored holes in the door, and was watching you all the time.
Therefore, go to bed early, and leave your window open. When the
church-clock strikes two, listen for any noise, and hold yourself in
readiness. That is all I have to say to you, and now good-by."
She nodded to him, and turned to the door.
"But I. Eliza--I have to tell you many things yet," said Ulrich,
detaining her. "Pray, stay yet awhile and listen to me!"
"No, sir, it is time for me to go; my mother is waiting for me,"
replied Eliza, withdrawing her hand from his. "Good-by, and if you
can pray, pray to God to protect you to-night!"
She opened the door hastily and stepped out, and smiled at
Schroepfel, but the old servant looked at her gloomily.
"You stayed a long while with the Bavarian," he growled.
"And yet you did not eat your cake nor empty your glass in the mean
time," said Eliza, with a smile. "You looked again through the hole
in the door, did you not? You saw, then, Schroepfel, that we stood
together like a pair of sensible lovers."
"I did not see any thing," exclaimed Schroepfel, angrily, "for you
placed yourself close to the window, and my hole does not enable me
to look around the corner; nor did I hear any thing, for you
whispered as softly as though you were a couple of sparrows which
understand each other when billing and cooing."
"Fie, Schroepfel! do not talk such nonsense," cried Eliza, blushing
deeply. "Behave yourself, Schroepfel, and I will bring you another
bottle of wine to-day, and beg father to let you come down to supper
to-night, and permit you to sleep in your bedchamber."
"I shall take good care to do no such thing," growled Schroepfel. "I
am a sentinel here, and must not desert my post."
"But you may take your sentry-box with you," said Eliza, pointing to
his settee. "When a soldier remains close to his sentry-box, he does
not desert his post. Well, good-by, Schroepfel; the sentinel will be
Eliza's words were fulfilled. Toward nightfall she informed
Schroepfel that her father permitted him to take his supper at the
table down-stairs, and afterward go to bed in his own chamber.
"Well, and who is to watch the prisoner in the mean time?" asked
"You yourself! Look, you will lock the door and put the key in your
pocket. In addition, you may put that heavy box yonder against the
door; then you will be sure that your prisoner cannot get out, for I
think his chamber has no other outlet."
"Yes, it has--the window!"
"Do you think the Bavarian has wings and will fly out of the window
"It is true he cannot fly out, nor can he jump out, for he would
simply break his neck. But, nevertheless, I do not like this
arrangement at all. Something tells me that it will turn out wrong.
I shall, at least, unchain the watch-dog, who will prevent the
Bavarian from escaping through the window. For the rest, I feel that
all my limbs are stiff, and that I have at length deserved some
repose. As it is your father's will, I will go down-stairs, take
supper, and afterward go to bed in my chamber. If any thing happens,
I shall wash my hands of it."
"Wash them as much as you please, Schroepfel, but come down to
supper," cried Eliza, hastening down-stairs with the agility of a
Schroepfel looked after her, shaking his head; he then locked the
door, put the key in his pocket, and placed the heavy iron-bound box
against the door.
"And before going to bed I shall unchain Phylax," he said, as if to
console himself, while he was going slowly and stiffly down-stairs.
Schroepfel kept his word. Weary and exhausted as he was, he waited
until all the inmates of the house bad gone to bed, and until all
noise had died away. He then went into the yard and unchained the
formidable and ill-humored watch-dog. Phylax howled and trembled
with joy and delight at being released; but Schroepfel seized his
ear and pointed his other hand at the prisoner's window, which was
brightly illuminated by the moon.
"Watch that window well, Phylax," he said, "watch it well; and if
you see anything suspicious, call me at once. I shall not sleep so
fast as not to hear your basking. Watch it well, Phylax."
The dog looked up to the window as if he had understood the order;
he then fixed his clear, lustrous eyes on Schroepfel, and uttered a
"Very well," said Schroepfel, "you have understood me. You will
watch him, and I may go to bed."
He dropped the ear of the dog, who thereupon bounded wildly through
the yard, while Schroepfel limped back into the house. He was heard
slowly ascending the staircase and opening the creaking door of his
bed-chamber, and then all became silent.
Night spread its pall over the weary, the sleepers, and the weeping;
the moon stood with silvery lustre high in the heavens, and
illuminated the snow-clad summits of the mountains rising in the
rear of the outbuildings in Wallner's yard. Hour after hour passed
by, and all remained silent; not a sound broke the holy stillness of
Hour after hour passed by; nothing stirred in the yard; the dog sat,
as if he had really understood Schroepfel's words, in the middle of
the yard, and stared steadfastly at the prisoner's window. Phylax
watched, as Schroepfel had gone to bed; Phylax watched, and did not
avert his eyes from the window on which his whole attention seemed
to be concentrated, for he did not stir, he did not even disturb the
flies buzzing round his ears; be was all attention and vigilance.
All at once something occurred that had never happened to him during
his nocturnal service; a wondrous, appetizing scent was wafted to
him on the wings of the night-breeze. Phylax averted his eyes for a
moment from the window and glanced searchingly round the yard.
Nothing stirred in it, but this wonderful scent of a roast sausage
still impregnated the air, and seemed to grow even stronger and more
tempting; for Phylax pricked up his ears, raised his nose, snuffing
eagerly to inhale the scent, and rose from the ground. He glanced
again round the yard, and then advanced a few steps toward the
window yonder on the side of the house. This window was open, and
the keen nose of the dog told him that the appetizing scent had come
from it. All at once, however, Phylax stood still, as if remembering