Part 6 out of 11
his master's orders, and looked again toward the prisoner's window.
At this moment a low voice called him: "Phylax! come here, Phylax!"
The dog hesitated no longer; he had recognized the voice of his
friend and playmate, Eliza Wallner. With two tremendous bounds he
was at the window, and, raising himself up, laid his forepaws on the
window-sill, and stretched out his head, waiting longingly for the
"Come, Phylax, come," whispered Eliza, and she stepped back with the
sausage into the interior of the room. "Come to me, Phylax, come to
The temptation was too strong. Phylax hesitated no longer; he moved
back a step, and leaped through the window into the room.
The window was closed behind him immediately, and the four-footed
custodian of the prisoner was now a prisoner himself.
The yard was empty now. Schroepfel slept soundly in his bed-chamber
up-stairs, and Phylax was revelling in epicurean joys in the larder.
The yard was empty now, but not long, for the door of the house
opened noiselessly, and a human form stepped out. For a moment it
stood still near the door, and two voices were heard whispering in a
"Good-by, dearest mother," said one voice. "It is time now, I must
"God and the Holy Virgin will protect you, dear Lizzie," said the
other voice: "for that which you are going to do is right and noble;
and father himself will see before long that you did right. Go,
Lizzie, and return safely."
"I shall be back at eight in the morning," whispered Lizzie. "Until
then, you must say nothing about it, dear mother, but tell father I
wished to be alone in my chamber till the wedding-hour. Good-by
She imprinted a kiss on her mother's lips, and hastened into the
yard. The door was closed softly. At this moment the church-clock
Eliza glided noiselessly across the yard toward the large ladder
leaning against the stable. She lifted it up with vigorous hands,
carried it across the yard, and placed it against the dwelling-
house, so that its top reached the open window of the prisoner. She
examined if the ladder stood firm, laid a few stones at its foot, to
prevent it from sliding, and then ascended it with cat-like agility,
carrying a small bundle on her arm, while she had put down another
in the yard.
Now she had reached the captain's window.
"Are you awake, sir?" she asked, in a low voice.
"I am, Eliza," whispered a voice inside. "I have been awake and
waiting for you an hour."
"Take this, sir," she said, handing the bundle into the window. "It
is a suit of clothes which you must put on. It is my father's
holiday dress, for you must not wear the Bavarian uniform now. You
must put up for a few days with being disguised as a Tyrolese. Put
it on quickly, and then wrap up your uniform in the blanket in which
I brought the suit of clothes. But make haste, and when you are
ready, descend the ladder, and come down into the yard, where I
shall await you. Bring the package with the uniform with you, and,
above all things, make haste."
She gave the captain no time for reply, but glided rapidly and
noiselessly down the ladder. On arriving in the yard, she took the
haversack which she had left there, hung it over her shoulder, and
took up the rifle. Then she seated herself quietly on a large log
close to the ladder, and looked up to the moon, which illuminated
her face and her whole form. Her face wore a wonderfully calm
expression; only round her crimson lips quivered at times something
like hidden grief, and a tear glistened in her large, dark eyes. But
when this tear rolled down her cheek slowly, Eliza shook her head
indignantly, and brushed it away with her hand.
"Foolish girl!" she murmured, "how can you weep now? You must
bravely take your heart in your hands now, and hold it so firmly
that it can neither cry nor tremble. You must be proud and stiff,
and never forget what is due to your honor, and what you owe to your
friend Elza. Therefore, do not weep, but be a brave Tyrolese girl.
To-morrow night you may weep in your chamber, for nobody will see
you there; but not to-night-no, no, not to-night!"
She shook her head violently, forced herself to smile, and gazed
pleasantly up to the moon. "God bless thee, golden, rapid wanderer!"
she said. "Thou shalt accompany us to-night, and pray, dear moon,
send all clouds home, and remain as bright and clear as now; for our
route is a dangerous one, and if thou dost not help us, we may
easily fall into an abyss, and--Hush, hush, he is coming."
She rose and looked up to the window, whence the captain emerged at
this moment, and appeared on the ladder.
"Throw down your package, sir--I will catch it," whispered Eliza.
"Thank you, I can carry it myself," said Ulrich, in a low voice; and
he was soon at the foot of the ladder, and standing in the yard
close to Eliza.
"Now come," she said; "tread lightly, and do not speak, but go
softly behind me."
She left him no time for reply, but walked across, opened the door
of the small shed, which was ajar, went quickly through it, and
passed through the opposite door into the orchard lying behind it.
She stood still in front of the door of the shed, and when Ulrich
had emerged from it, she locked it, and put the key into her pocket.
"Now let us walk as fast as possible, sir," she whispered. "We must
walk for three hours. Keep your eyes on me, and follow me wherever I
"I will follow you, Eliza," said the captain, earnestly, "wherever
you go. You see I have implicit confidence in you, for I do not even
ask whither you intend to conduct me, or what you wish to do with
me. I place my life and my future in your hands, and shall do
whatever you want me to."
"It will be the best for you," she said, nodding her head slightly.
And with the quick, firm step peculiar to the Tyrolese, she advanced
through the garden, out of the gate, and into the narrow path
leading through the valley and up to the mountains rising on the
opposite side. The moon still shone brightly upon the valley, and
illuminated the two forms rapidly walking behind each other, casting
their long, dark shadows on the side of the road.
Ulrich yon Hohenberg saw in the moonlight that Eliza was carrying
the haversack and rifle; he therefore advanced quickly until he
stood by her side, and laid his hand on her arm.
"Eliza," he said, vehemently. "pray let me carry the rifle and the
haversack; let me take your burden upon myself!"
She looked at him with a singular expression. "Every one has to
carry his own burden," she said; "you have yours, and I have mine."
"But what are the arms for, Eliza? You have armed yourself against
She shrugged her shoulders carelessly. "Were I afraid of you, I
would not allow you to walk behind me. But grant me one request,
will you? "
"Speak, Eliza, and whatever it may be, I will comply with it."
"Well, then, sir, be so kind as not to speak with me. Speaking
exhausts us and makes us absent-minded. We have a long march before
us, and must save our breath, and devote our whole attention to the
route; for it will lead us over the narrow paths of the chamois-
hunters, and a single false step may hurl us into an abyss.
Therefore, sir, pray do not address me until I speak to you."
"I will obey," said Ulrich, humbly. "Lead the way; I will follow."
She nodded to him, and advanced through the narrow valley. The road
soon became steeper, and led them past precipices, from one rock to
another, all of which were spanned by narrow planks, under which
unfathomable chasms yawned. Then it led through thickets of
shrubbery and pine-forests, or down precipitous slopes, and over
small fragments of rock, which gave way at every step, and rolled
into the depth. Eliza suddenly stood still and broke the silence for
the first time.
"You must not go behind me here, sir," she said, "for the loose
stones would not permit you to advance. Come to me, and give me your
hand. We must walk side by side."
He was immediately by her side, and took her hand. "May I speak now,
Eliza?" he asked.
"No," she said, imperatively, "we have no time for chatting.
And they continued ascending the mountain. The valley, and even the
mountain-forest, lay already deep under them. Only scattered and
stunted trees stood here and there, and finally even these
disappeared entirely. The moon commenced paling in the heavens, and
yet it did not become darker, for the gray twilight was lit up at
times with a purple lustre; the small, scudding clouds began to turn
red; the pale, foggy mountain-peaks colored, and a strange
whispering passed through the air.
Now they had reached the summit, and the peak on which they were
standing afforded them a strikingly beautiful view.
"This is the place where we may rest," said Eliza, drawing a deep
"And may I speak now, Eliza?" asked Ulrich.
"No," she said; "do you not see that God is speaking now?"
And she pointed to the part of the horizon which, radiant in its
crimson lustre, lay at the end of the lovely valley opening before
them. Gazing at it, Eliza sank noiselessly down on the fragment of a
rock, and clasping her hands on her knees, she contemplated the
glorious spectacle by which God speaks to man every morning.
The valley was still wrapped in the gloom of twilight, but behind
the flat and gently-rounded mountains yonder rose the flaming glow
of radiant crimson, and sent a few purple clouds as heralds of the
approaching majesty into the azure sky. A rosy hue covered the
glaciers of the Venediger and Gross-Glockner, which looked down in
proud majesty on the mountains bordering the valley, and which had
hitherto wrapped their summits in veils of glistening silver. On
beholding the divine majesty of the sun, they dropped their veils,
their summits crimsoned and loomed up to the sky in dazzling
splendor. The rays gilding them shed a lustre on the lower wooded
mountains, greeted the spires of the churches rising amidst the
villages, dissipated the mist which had hitherto filled the valley,
and converted the waters of the foaming Isel, meandering through the
valley, into liquid gold. The gloom entirely disappeared, and the
whole landscape was radiant in its morning beauty. God had willed
that there should be light, and the earth lay smiling and
surpassingly beautiful under the first glowing rays of the sun.
Eliza gazed with a rapt smile upon the sublime scene; the clouds had
disappeared from her brow also, and the gloom had vanished from her
"Oh, how beautiful is the world! how beautiful is my dear Tyrol!"
she exclaimed, fervently. "I greet you, beloved mountains guarding
our frontiers! I greet you, Gross-Glockner and Venediger! Yes, gaze
upon the Tyrol, for now you may rejoice over it! The enemy is no
longer in the country, and I am bringing you the last Bavarian who
is still here, that you may send him across the border. Sir," she
added, turning her face, illuminated by the sun, slowly to the young
man, who had not contemplated the sun, but only her face, "we must
part here. I only intended to conduct you hither, to the Kalser
Thoerl. You will now descend to the village of Kals, which you see
in the valley yonder. Look, back there, its red roofs are rising out
of the green shrubbery. You will go to the inn there, and give this
letter to Lebrecht Panzl, the innkeeper. He is my mother's brother,
and she writes him in this letter to give you a reliable guide, who
is to conduct you over the Pruschler Thoerl and the Katzenstein to
Heiligenblut. You will reach Heiligenblut in seven hours. Its
inhabitants speak Bavarian German; your Bavarian dialect will not be
suspicious to them, and you will easily find there a guide to
conduct you wherever you wish to go. You will find some food for to-
day in the haversack here, and also some money, and powder and lead.
Take it, sir; here is the rifle, and here the haversack. Unless you
have them with you, no one will take you for a genuine Tyrolese.
There. Put your clothes into the sack, you can carry them better
that way; hang the rifle round your shoulder, and then adieu?"
"And you think, Eliza, I can accept all this kindness and
magnanimity?" cried Ulrich, vehemently; "you think I can accept at
your hands food, money--nay, more, my life, my honor, and leave you
with a cold 'thank you,' after denying and insulting you in the
despair of my wounded military honor? No, Eliza, you have mistaken
my character. I will not go, I will not leave you. I followed you
here to see how far your magnanimity and noble self-abnegation would
go; but now I shall return with you to Windisch-Matrey. Your father
invited to the wedding the men who wished to kill me yesterday; they
will await us at the church at nine this morning, and they shall not
wait in vain. Come, Eliza, let us return to Windisch-Matrey; for all
your kindness and magnanimity I shall give you the only thing I have
to give, my name. You will, you shall become my wife! Come, your
father and your friends await us at the church; I will conduct you
thither and to the altar."
"I will not do it," she exclaimed proudly; "for, as sure as there is
a God in heaven, I should say 'no' before the altar, and reject your
"Well, then, do that," he said, gently; "I have deserved this
humiliation; I owe you an opportunity to wreak your vengeance on
"I do not want to avenge myself. I have sworn to myself and to my
dear Elza to save you, and I will. Go, sir; time is fleeting, and
you have a march of seven hours before you."
"No, I will not go," cried Ulrich, vehemently; "I cannot go, for I
love you, Eliza, Oh, I have loved you a long while, but my haughty
heart revolted at this love, and would not yield to it; and yet I
was deeply, passionately enamoured of you. But my heart did not know
itself, it believed at last that it might hate you, when all at once
your generosity, lenity, and magnanimity dissipated all mists
concealing my heart from my eyes, and I perceived how passionately I
loved you. Oh, Eliza, beloved girl, do not turn from me! Give me
your hand; let us go home; accept my hand, become my wife! Love
beseeches of you now what pride refused to you before accept my
hand, my name! Let us descend into the valley, go to the church, and
She shook her head slowly. "I have already told you," she said,
"that I should say 'no' before the altar. We do not belong together.
You are a nobleman, and I, as you have often called me in your
anger, am a peasant girl; you are a Bavarian, and I, thank God, am
again an Austrian. We do not belong together, and I believe it would
not behoove you to appear with me now before the altar and marry me.
For every one would think you took me only to save your life, and
your honor would be lost, not only in Bavaria, but also here among
us. The brave men would despise you, and the tempt--I felt it when
you looked at me so disdainfully yesterday--is worse than death. Go,
therefore, my dear sir; your honor requires it."
"Well, then, you are right: I will go. I see that I must not apply
for your hand at this juncture. But I shall return so soon as peace
is restored to the country, and when all these troubles are over.
Promise me, Eliza, that you will wait for me and not forget me. For
I swear to you, I shall return and marry you, in spite of the whole
"You will not," she said, shaking her bead, "for I shall not take
you. I do not love you."
"Eliza," he cried, seizing her hand impetuously, and gazing deep
into her eyes, "you are just as much mistaken as I was myself. I
loved you a long time without knowing it, and thus, sweet one, you
love me too!"
"No," she exclaimed, vehemently, and turning very pale, "no, I do
not love you!"
"Yes, you do," he said, tenderly. "I felt it, and knew it by the
tone in which, stepping before me, and shielding me with your body,
you exclaimed yesterday, 'If you shoot him, you shall kill me too.'
Pity and compassion do not speak thus; only love has such tones of
anguish, despair, and heroism. I felt it at that moment, and the
blissful delight which filled my heart on recognizing it, made me at
length conscious of my own love. I confessed to myself that I never
should be able to love any other woman on earth, and never would
marry any other woman than you. Ob, Eliza, let us no longer resist
the happiness that is in store for us. Let the whole past be buried
behind us. Let the future be ours, and with it love and happiness!"
She shook her head slowly. "You have read badly in my heart," she
said; "you do not understand the letters written in it, and what you
spell from it is false. I do not love you, and would never consent
to become your wife. Let us drop the subject. We two can never be
husband and wife, but we may remember each other as good friends.
And so, sir, I will always remember you, and shall be glad to hear
that you are well and happy. But let us say no more about it, and
go. You have a march of seven hours before you; I must be at home
again by eight o'clock, in order not to keep the men waiting. Let us
"Well, then," sighed Ulrich, "it is your will, and we must part, but
not forever. I swear, by God Almighty and my love, I shall return
when the war is over, and when the quarrels of the nations are
settled. I shall return to ask you if you will be mine, my beloved
wife, and if you will at last crown my love with happiness. Hush, do
not contradict me, and do not tell me again that you do not love me.
I hope in the future, and we shall see whether it will bring me
happiness or doom me to despair. Farewell, then, Eliza; and if you
will yet give to the poor wanderer, to whom you have given life,
food, money, and clothes, a priceless treasure, a talisman that will
shield him from all temptations of the world, then give me a kiss!"
"No, sir; an honest Tyrolese girl never kisses any man but the one
whose wife she is to be. You see, therefore, that I cannot give you
a kiss. Go, sir. But have you no commissions to give me for your
uncle and my dear Elza?"
"Greet them both; tell them that I love you, Eliza, and that you
rejected my proposals."
"That does not concern anybody, and only we two and the good God
shall know it, but no one else. But, sir, give me a souvenir for
Elza; it will gladden her heart."
"I have nothing to give her," he said, shrugging his shoulders.
She pointed to the crimson Alpine roses blooming at their feet
amidst the grass and moss.
"Gather some of these flowers, and give them to me," she said; "I
will take them to Elza, and tell her that you gathered the flowers
He knelt down, gathered a handful of Alpine roses, and tied them
together with a few blades of grass. "I would," he said, still
kneeling in the grass, "they were myrtles that I was gathering for
you, Eliza, for you, my affianced bride, and that you would accept
them at my hands as the sacred gift of love. There, take the bouquet
for Elza, and give it to her with my greetings."
She stretched out her hand to take it; but Ulrich, instead of giving
it to her, pressed the bouquet to his lips, and imprinted an ardent
kiss on the flowers; then only did he hand it to Eliza.--"Now,
Eliza," he said, "take it. You refused me a kiss, but you will carry
my glowing kiss home with you, and with it also my heart. I shall
come back one day to demand of you your heart and my kiss. Farewell!
It is your will, and so I must go. I do not say, forget me not; but
I shall return, and ask you then: `Have you forgotten me? Will you
become my wife?' Until then, farewell!"
He gazed at her with a long look of love and tenderness; she avoided
meeting his look, and when he saw this, a smile, radiant as sunshine
and bliss, illuminated his features.
"Go, sir," she said, in a low voice, averting her face.
"I am going, Eliza," he exclaimed. "Farewell!"
He seized her hand impetuously, imprinted on it a burning kiss
before she was able to prevent him, dropped it, and turned to
descend the slope with a slow step.
Eliza stood motionless, and as if fascinated; she gazed after him,
and followed with an absorbed look his tall, noble form, descending
the mountain, surrounded by a halo of sunshine.
All at once Ulrich stood still and turned to her. "Eliza," he
shouted, "did you call me? Shall I return to you?"
She shook her head and made a violent gesture indicating that he
should not return, but said nothing; the words choked in her breast.
He waved his hand to her, turned again, and continued descending the
Eliza looked after him; her face turned paler and paler, and her
lips quivered more painfully. Once they opened as if to call him
back with a cry of anguish and love; but Eliza, pressing her hand
violently upon her mouth, forced the cry back into her heart, and
gazed down on Ulrich's receding form.
Already he had descended half the slope; now he reached the edge of
the forest, and alas! disappeared in the thicket.
Eliza, uttering a loud cry, knelt down, and tears, her long-
restrained, scalding tears, streamed like rivers down her cheeks.
She lifted her arms, her clasped bands, to heaven, and murmured with
quivering lips: "Protect him, my God, for Thou knowest how intensely
I love him!"
She remained a long time on her knees, weeping, praying, struggling
with her grief and her love. But then all at once she sprang to her
feet, brushed the tears from her eyes, and drew a deep breath.
"I must and will no longer weep," she said to herself in a loud,
imperative voice. "Otherwise they would see that I had been weeping,
and no one must know that. I must descend in order to be at home in
time, and then I will tell father and the other men that Ulrich
never was my betrothed, and that I said so only to save his life.
They will forgive me for helping him to escape when I tell them that
I never loved him nor would have taken him, because he is a
Bavarian, but that I saved him because he is a near relative of my
dear Elza. And after telling and explaining all this to the men, I
shall go to Elza, give her the flowers, and tell her that Ulrich
sent them to her, and that his last word was a love-greeting for
her. God, forgive me this falsehood! But Elza loves him, and it will
gladden her heart. She will preserve this bouquet to her wedding-
day, and she will not notice that I kept one flower from it for
myself. It is the flower which he kissed; it shall be mine. I
suppose, good God, that I may take it, and that it is no theft for
me to do so?"
She looked up to heaven with a beseeching glance; then she softly
drew one of the flowers from the bouquet, pressed it to her lips,
and concealed it in her bosom.
"I will preserve this flower while I live," she exclaimed. "God
strengthened my heart so that I was able to reject him; but I shall
love him forever, and this flower is my wedding-bouquet. I shall
never wear another!"
She extended her arms in the direction where Ulrich had disappeared.
"Farewell!" she cried. "I greet you a thousand times, and my heart
goes with you!"
Then she turned and hastily descended the path which she had
ascended with Ulrich von Hohenberg.
THE TRIUMPH OF DEATH
It was a wondrously beautiful morning in May; the sun shone clear
and bright; the birds sang in all the shrubs and trees, and the gay
spring flowers exhaled their fragrant odors in all the gardens.
Nature had donned its holiday attire, and yet humanity was in
mourning; the sun shone clear and bright, and yet the eyes of men
were sombre and lustreless, and instead of rejoicing over the fresh
verdure and the blossoms of spring, they grieved, and their hearts
were frozen with care and pain.
For the Emperor Napoleon had raised his proud hand again against
Germany; he had defeated the Austrians at Ratisbon and Landshut, and
made his triumphant entrance into Vienna on the 12th of May, 1809.
For the second time the imperial family, fleeing from the victorious
Napoleon, had been compelled to leave the capital; for the second
time the foreign emperor occupied the palace of Schoenbrunn, and
Vienna had to bow again to the will of the all-powerful conqueror.
The Emperor Francis had escaped with his wife and children to
Hungary, and Vienna, whose inhabitants had at first sworn
enthusiastically to defend their city to the last man, and lay it in
ashes rather than surrender it to the French, had nevertheless
opened its gates already on the 12th of May to the Emperor Napoleon
and his army. It had to bow to stern necessity, for during the
previous night the Archduke Maximilian, with the weak forces with
which he had been ordered to defend Vienna, had evacuated the city,
had burned the great bridge of Thabor to prevent Napoleon from
pursuing him, and had succeeded in escaping, leaving it to the
Viennese to make terms with the conqueror and invoke his clemency
and generosity. They had thus been obliged to conceal their rage and
exasperation in their hearts, and surrender to the tender mercies of
the French emperor; they had opened their gates to the enemy, but
not their hearts. Their hearts were filled with boundless rage and
shame, which brought wild imprecations to the lips of the men, and
tears to the eyes of the women.
Joseph Haydn, the silver-haired octogenarian, had still the heart of
a fiery man in his bosom, and his trembling lips cursed the
conqueror, the relentless foe of Austria, and called down the wrath
of Heaven on the French emperor, who always spoke of peace and
conciliation, and always stirred up quarrels and enmities. The
latest reverses of Austria had produced a most painful impression
upon the aged maestro, and the ravishing joy which had illuminated
Joseph Haydn's face at the performance of "The Creation," had long
since disappeared from his careworn and mournful countenance. His
eyes were gloomy and dim, and often veiled with tears; and when he
played his imperial hymn, as he did every morning, he could not sing
to it, for tears choked his voice, and the words, so full of
confidence and triumphant hope, seemed to him a bitter mockery.
He led now a very quiet and lonely life at his small house in the
Mariahilf suburb, and he did not even leave it, as he had formerly
always done, on Sundays, in order to go to mass. The sight of the
French uniforms wounded his heart, and he grieved on seeing his
beloved Viennese oppressed and humiliated.
"God is every where," said Haydn to his faithful servant Conrad,
"and He will hear my prayer even though I should utter it in my
quiet closet, and not at church. But to-day, my friend, I will pray
to God in the open air. See how gloriously the sun shines, and how
blue the sky is! To-day is Sunday. Let us, therefore, put on our
Sunday clothes. Conrad, give me the fine ring which the great King
of Prussia presented to me, and then come to hear mass in my little
Conrad fetched quickly the Sunday clothes of his master; he helped
him to put on the silken and silver-embroidered coat, and put the
large diamond-ring, which Frederick the Great had one day sent to
the great master of harmony, on his finger. Then he handed him his
hat and his strong cane, which was adorned with a golden cross-
piece, that the tottering octogenarian might lean on it. Joseph
Haydn now left the room slowly, his right hand leaning on his cane,
his left arm resting on the shoulder of his servant. Behind him
walked with a grave step the old cat, an heirloom from Haydn's
lamented wife, and hence highly prized and honored by the aged
maestro. Purring softly, now raising its beautiful long tail, now
rolling it up, the cat followed close in the footsteps of its
master, through the hall and across the yard to the small garden.
"How beautiful it is here!" said Haydn, standing still in the door
of the garden, and slowly looking around at the flowers and
shrubbery, the humming bees and flitting butter-flies. "Oh, how
gloriously beautiful is God's creation, and how radiant--"
"How radiant is nature," interrupted Conrad; "how brilliantly the
sun shines, and how splendid the lawn looks!"
"You are a fool, old Conrad, to repeat these words from MY
'Creation,'" said Haydn, with a gentle smile. "I was not thinking of
MY 'Creation' at this moment, but of God's creation. And He
certainly knew more about the music of the creation than I did, and-
-just listen how the nightingale sings in the elder-bush yonder! It
is an air such as is to be found only in God's Creation, and, as
Joseph Haydn, with all his talents and enthusiasm, never was able to
compose. Oh, how sweetly this prima donna assoluta of the good God
sings, and what divine melodies, modulations, and harmonies she
warbles forth, and--But what is that?"
"That is the parrot singing an air from Joseph Haydn's 'Creation,'"
exclaimed Conrad, bursting into triumphant laughter. "And just
listen, doctor, the prima donna assoluta of the good God has become
entirely silent, and listens with delight to the divine melodies,
modulations, and harmonies of my dear master Joseph Haydn."
"You are a fool, Conrad, despite your seventy years," said Haydn,
"to call old Paperl my prima donna assoluta, and compare him with
the nightingale. But tell me, for God's sake, where did the bird
hear that melody? Why, Paperl whistles the great base-air from 'The
Creation' as though he were the first singer. Where did he learn
"I taught him the melody, doctor," said Conrad, proudly; "I gave him
lessons for three months, and he took pains to learn the melody, for
he knew full well that we two were preparing a little surprise and
joy for our dear master, the great Joseph Haydn."
"And that is the reason why I have not seen Paperl for so long,"
said Haydn, nodding his head gently. "I did not wish to inquire
after him, for I was afraid the answer would be that the bird was
dead and had gone home to my dear old wife."
"Well, I am sure Paperl would never go to her," said Conrad,
laughing; "the two could never get along with each other, and were
always quarrelling. Whenever Paperl could catch one of your wife's
fingers, he bit it with his thick beak, and she hated the bird
cordially for it, and would have preferred sending him to the grave
than descending into it herself. But Paperl did not die, and you
need not be anxious on his account, doctor. Such parrots live a
thousand years. Therefore, I locked him up in my chamber for three
months, and taught him the beautiful air, that the bird might
whistle it to mankind a thousand years hence, and remind all of the
great composer, Joseph Haydn."
"Ah, my dear old Conrad," sighed Haydn, sinking into the easy-chair
which Conrad had placed for him under the fragrant elder-bush, "a
thousand years hence no one will know any thing about us, and we
shall be nothing but dust returned to dust. But God will remain, and
His sun will shine a thousand years hence as gloriously as it does
to-day; and His nightingales will sing the same wonderful melodies
from His creation long after my `Creation' has been forgotten."
He paused, and clasping his hands devoutly, lifted his eyes to
heaven. By his side, on the high pole, its right leg fastened to it
with a small silver chain, the parrot sat, and fixed its piercing,
sagacious eyes upon him; the cat lay at Haydn's feet, and gazed with
philosophical equanimity at the flies which were buzzing from flower
to flower, and pricked up its ears attentively whenever a small bird
rustled in the shrubbery, or skipped merrily from branch to branch
in the fragrant walnut tree. Beside the easy-chair stood Conrad, the
old servant, his faithful, honest face turned toward his master with
an expression of infinite tenderness, and quite absorbed in
contemplating this mild, smiling, and calm octogenarian, whose eyes
were looking around slowly, and seemingly greeting God and Nature.
In the distance bells were ringing and calling devout worshipers to
divine service; their notes resounded tremulously through the air
like a solemn accompaniment to the voices of Nature.
"Oh, how beautiful, how beautiful!" murmured Haydn. "Why can I not
exhale with this sigh of joy my old life, which is no longer good
for any thing? Why can I not die with this prayer of gratitude
toward God on my lips, and waft my soul up to heaven, as that bird
yonder is at this moment soaring toward the sun!"
"Oh, sir, why do you talk already of dying?" cried Conrad,
anxiously; "you must live yet a long while, a joy to mankind, and
honored and esteemed by the whole world."
"And a burden to myself," sighed Haydn. "I am exhausted, Conrad; I
have no longer strength enough to live. This unfortunate war crushed
to the ground and broke my poor heart. [Footnote: Haydn's own
words.--"Zeitgenossen," vol. iv., p. 36.] When Napoleon made his
second entrance into Vienna, and our good Emperor Francis had to
escape again from the capital, I felt as though my heart were rent
asunder, and this rent will never heal again. The misfortunes of my
fatherland will cause me to bleed to death! Ah, how dreadful it is
that Austria and my emperor were humiliated so profoundly, and that
they had to bow to the Emperor of the French! I cannot comprehend
why the Lord permits it, and why He does not hurl down His
thunderbolts upon the head of this hypocritical French emperor, who
throws the firebrand of war into all parts of Europe, who always has
pharisaical words of peace in his mouth, and gives himself the
appearance of wishing to reconcile all, when he is intent only on
setting all at variance. Oh, Conrad, when I think of this Emperor
Napoleon, of the innocent blood which he has already shed, and of
the many thousand victims which have already fallen to his ambition,
my heart swells up in boundless exasperation, and I begin to doubt
even the goodness and justice of God!--But hush, hush, my wild
heart," he interrupted himself, lifting his eyes with a beseeching
glance to heaven. "God will manage everything for the best. He will
one day, with a beck of His hand, hurl the French usurper from his
throne, and cause Austria to rise great and powerful from her
humiliating position. He will protect Germany from the wrongs
inflicted upon her by France, and avenge the disgrace which every
German has to suffer at the bands of the French. That is the hope
which I shall take with me into my grave; that is the confidence I
have in Thee, O my God!"
He lifted both his hands toward heaven, and prayed in a low voice.
Then he rose slowly from his chair, and turned his head with smiling
greetings on all sides.
"Conrad," he said, gently, "I take leave of Nature to-day, for it
seems to me as if I never should see again my dear little garden,
the flowers and birds, the sun and the sky. Oh, farewell, then,
great and holy Nature! I have loved thee passionately all my life,
and glorified thee in my works to the best of the power which God
imparted to me. Farewell, Nature! farewell, sunshine and fragrant
flowers! Joseph Haydn takes leave of you, for his task is fulfilled,
and his soul is weary. Come, my old Conrad, conduct me back to the
house. I will return to my room. I am tired, ah, so exceedingly
He passed his arm around Conrad's neck, and, leaning his other hand
on his cane, walked slowly and pantingly up the narrow path. At this
moment the nightingale in the elder-bush recommenced its jubilant
song, and at the same time the parrot raised its shrill voice, and
began to whistle the sweet notes of the air from Haydn's "Creation."
Haydn stood still and listened. "Conrad," he said, in a low voice,
"we will now consult an oracle as to my life and death. If the
parrot pauses first, I shall die soon; if the nightingale pauses,
God will permit me to live a while longer."
He lifted his eyes devoutly to the sky, over whose azure plain white
cloudlets were scudding like silver swans, and his lips muttered a
The nightingale still sang its wonderful love-songs, and the parrot
tried to drown its notes with Haydn's beautiful melody.
Conrad smiled blissfully. "My Paperl has a long breath," he said,
"and the nightingale will be unable to cope with him; Rupert will
But the nightingale, as if irritated by this rivalry, now seemed to
put forth its whole art and strength. The ringing trills were
followed by long, sweet, flute-notes, which filled the air like a
joyous hymn of tenderness, drowning the voices of all other birds,
and the sighing breeze, and seemed to arouse the flowers from their
sweet slumber, till they trembled with blissful transports, and
softly raised their flowery crowns toward the blooming elder, in
whose dark foliage was concealed the nightingale, Nature's great and
yet modest artiste.
Yes, all Nature seemed to listen with blissful attention to this
wonderful song of the nightingale, and even the parrot could no
longer resist the charm. Paperl hesitated, then commenced again,
hesitated a second time, and was silent.
Haydn dropped his clasped hands slowly, and turned his eyes from
heaven to earth. "I knew it full well," he murmured; "the oracle has
decided my fate, and Joseph Haydn's 'Creation' is silenced by God's
creation. Come into the house, Conrad; I am cold and tired. But
first give me a few of my fragrant friends, my dear flowers. They
shall speak to me in my room of the splendor and beauty of the
Conrad gathered hastily a full bouquet of roses, pinks, and elder-
flowers, dried the tears filling his eyes, and conducted his master
carefully back into the house.
He had just seated him in his easy-chair, and placed the embroidered
cushion under his feet, when the shrill street-bell resounded in the
"Go and see who is there," said Haydn, holding the bouquet in both
his hands, and contemplating it with loving eyes.
Conrad slipped out of the room and returned in a few minutes.
"There is a stranger from Berlin," he said, "who begged me urgently
to admit hint to Dr. Haydn, Mr. Schmid, the manager of the theatre,
is with him, and requests you to see the stranger, who, he says, is
a celebrated poet."
"If Schmid is with him, let them come in," said Haydn, mildly; "it
will doubtless be the last time I shall see my dear old-friend on
Conrad threw open the door, and beckoned the gentlemen, who were
standing outside, to come in. The two crossed the threshold softly
on tiptoe, and with faces expressive of profound reverence; as if
seized with compassion or pious awe, they stood still at the door,
and gazed with eyes full of tenderness upon Haydn, who, at this
moment, overcome perhaps by the spring air, had closed his eyes, and
not heard the entrance of the visitors.
"That is he," whispered one of the two, a man of a tall, erect form,
with a face radiant with understanding and sagacity. "That is he!"
he repeated, fixing his ardent eyes on the composer.
"Yes, that is Joseph Haydn," said the other, in a low voice, and an
expression of profound grief overspread his broad, good-natured
face. "But hush! he opens his eyes."
And he approached Haydn, who held out both his hands to him, and
greeted him with a gentle smile.
"Do you come to bid farewell to your old friend once more previous
to his death?" he asked, mildly. "Do you wish to take leave of me,
my dear friend Schmid?"
"No, I do not come to bid you farewell, but wish you good-day," said
Schmid, warmly, "and pray you to receive this gentleman here kindly.
It is Iffland, the celebrated actor and poet from Berlin. He had
come to Vienna before the French took the city, and after its
capture he could no longer get out: they detained him, and it was
not until now that, by dint of the most pressing solicitations, he
received permission to return to Berlin."
"But I could not leave Vienna without seeing the great Haydn,"
exclaimed Iffland, in his fine, sonorous voice. "What would the
people of Berlin think of me if I had not seen the most illustrious
genius of our time?"
"Sir," said Haydn, with a sigh, "look at me, and learn from my
weakness how fragile man is with all his glory."
"Man alone is fragile, but genius is immortal," exclaimed Iffland,
"and Joseph Haydn is a genius whose glory will never die."
"Let my footman tell you the glory of the nightingale and the
parrot," said Haydn, with a faint smile. "The works of man are
perishable, but the works of God last forever."
"But the works of man come likewise from God, for it was He who gave
him the strength to create them," replied Iffland, warmly. "Did not
the great and glorious creations of your genius come just as much
from God as the flowers which you hold in your hand, and the
perfumes of which delight you so visibly?"
"Yes, these flowers are beautiful," said Haydn, musingly.
"The bouquet is doubtless a gift from one of the many fair admirers
of our maestro?" asked Schmid, laughing.
Haydn looked up to him smilingly and shook his head gently. "No," he
said, "it is the last souvenir of Nature, to which I have bidden
farewell. I worshipped to-day in the open air, and this is the
rosary with which I will pray. Ah, I love Nature so passionately!"
"And you have taught those whose eyes and ears were closed against
the holy charms of Nature, how to see and hear," said Iffland. "Your
`Seasons' is the most glorious hymn on God's splendid world."
"Yes, the 'Seasons,'" cried Haydn, almost vehemently, "gave me the
death-blow. It was so difficult for me to derive enthusiasm from the
words of the text. The words said so little, really so very little!
Frequently a single passage caused me a great deal of trouble for
several days, and I did not succeed after all in expressing the idea
I wished to convey to the hearers. The words were a dead weight on
my music. Well, it is all over now. Yes, you see, it is all over
now. The `Seasons' is to blame for it, for it exhausted my last
strength. I have had to work hard all my lifetime; I had to suffer
hunger, thirst, and cold in my wretched attic, whence I had to
descend a hundred and thirty steps before reaching the street.
Privations, hard work, hunger, in short, all that I suffered in my
youth, are now exerting their effects on me and prostrating me. But
it is an honorable defeat--it is hard work to which I am succumbing.
However, God assisted me. I never felt it more strikingly than this
very day, and therefore I am so happy, oh! so happy, that I must
shed tears of blissful emotion. Do not laugh at me on this account.
I am a weak old man, and when any thing affects me profoundly, I
must weep. It was otherwise in former years. Ah, in former years!"
He turned his tearful eyes toward the window, and gazed into
vacancy. "In former years my mind was strong and vigorous," he
sighed, "and when I wrote my 'Creation,' a manly fire filled my
"Your enthusiasm is imprinted on your great work, and it will never
disappear from it," said Iffland. "Joseph Haydn's 'Creation' is
immortal and full of eternal youth. The Viennese proved it to you on
hearing your sublime music the other day."
"But I proved to them that I had become so feeble that I could no
longer bear listening to my own music. I had to leave the room long
before the performance was at an end."
"You ought not to have gone to the concert at all," said Schmid.
"The excitement might have been injurious to your health."
"It was injurious to me," said Haydn, "but considerations of health
had no right to prevent me from being present. It was not the first
time that homage had been rendered to Haydn, and I wished to show
that I was able to bear it this time too. Ah, it was a glorious
evening, and never did I hear a better performance of my
"It was the great composer's apotheosis which the musicians and
singers were celebrating," said Iffland, deeply moved. .
"It is true the Viennese have done a great deal for me. They are so
good, and they love me dearly."
"Oh, the Viennese are not ahead of the people of Berlin in this
respect," exclaimed Iffland. "In Berlin, too, every one knows and
loves the great Joseph Haydn, and his 'Creation' is likewise
recognized there as a masterpiece. It was performed in Berlin quite
recently at a charity concert, the receipts of which amounted to
over two thousand dollars--"
"Over two thousand dollars for the poor," said Joseph Haydn, with
beaming eyes; "oh, my work, then gave the poor a good day. That is
splendid, that is the most beautiful reward for a life of toils and
privations. But," he added, after a brief pause, "it is all over
now. I can no longer do any thing. I am a leafless tree, which will
break down to-day or to-morrow."
"The fall of this tree will move the whole of Germany as a great
calamity befalling every lover of his country."
"Yes, it is true, much love has been manifested for me, much homage
has been rendered to me," said Haydn, musingly.
"All nations and all princes have rendered homage to you," exclaimed
Iffland. "The laurel-wreath, for which we other poets and artists
arc struggling all our lifetime, and which is generally bestowed
upon us only after we are in the grave, was long since granted to
you in the most flattering and gratifying manner. Europe has
presented you, not with one, but with many laurel-wreaths, and you
may look back on your life like a victorious hero, for each of your
exploits was a triumph for which you received laurel-wreaths and
"Yes, I have many souvenirs of my past," said Haydn, smilingly. "I
will show. them to you.--Conrad, give me my treasures."
Conrad opened the drawer of the large writing-table which was
standing close to Haydn, and which contained a great many large and
small etuis, caskets and boxes.
"You shall see my treasures now," exclaimed Haydn, cheerfully. In
the first place, he showed them a beautiful casket made of ebony and
gold. It was a gift with which the young Princess Esterhazy had
presented the beloved and adored friend of her house only a few
weeks ago, and on whose lid was painted a splendid miniature
representing the scene at the last performance of "The Creation,"
when Haydn received the enthusiastic homage of the audience. He then
showed them the large gold medal sent him; in 1800, from Paris, by
the two hundred and fifty musicians who, on Christmas evening in
that year, had performed "The Creation," and thereby delighted all
Paris. Then followed many other medals from musical societies and
conservatories, and valuable diamond rings, snuff-boxes, and
breastpins from kings and emperors. Last, Haydn showed them, with
peculiar emotion, the diploma of citizenship which the city of
Vienna had conferred on him: It was contained in a silver case, and
its sight caused his eyes even now to flash with the most intense
He had placed on the table before him every piece, after showing it
to them and explaining its meaning; and now that all the treasures
were spread out before him, he contemplated them with a blissful
smile, and nodded to them as if to dear old friends.
"Do not laugh at me," he said, lifting his eyes to Iffland, almost
beseechingly. "I am fondly attached to these things, and hence it
delighted me to look at them from time to time with my friends. You
will say they are the playthings of an old man. But they are more
than that to me; on beholding them, I think of my past life, and my
recollections render me young again for a few moments. After my
death all these things will pass into dear hands, and I hope that,
when I am slumbering in my grave, my souvenirs will be carefully
preserved and honored if only for my sake." [Footnote: Haydn
bequeathed all his trinkets and manuscripts to the Esterhazy family,
who had honored him so highly during his whole life.]
"I hope the day is distant when Germany will have to lament the
death of her favorite, Joseph Haydn," exclaimed Iffland.
"That day is close at hand," said Haydn, calmly; "I feel to-day more
distinctly than ever before that my end is drawing nigh. My strength
"Let us go," whispered Schmid, pointing to Haydn, who had feebly
sunk back into his easy-chair, and was leaning his pale head against
Iffland fixed his eyes for a long time with an expression of heart-
felt grief on the groaning, broken form reposing in the easy-chair.
"And that is all that is left of a great composer, of a genius who
delighted the whole world!" he sighed. "Ah, what a fragile shell our
body is, a miserable dwelling for the soul living in it! Come, my
friend, let us softly leave the room. Only I would like to take a
souvenir with me, a flower from the bouquet which Haydn held in his
hands. May I venture to take one?"
At this moment Haydn opened his eyes again, and fixed them with a
gentle expression on Iffland. "I heard all you said," he remarked;
"but I was too feeble to speak. You wish to get one of my flowers?
No, you shall have them all."
He took the bouquet, looked at it tenderly, and buried his whole
face for a moment in the flowers, and then handed it to Iffland with
a gentle smile.
"Farewell," he said; "remember me on looking at these flowers. I
would I had known you in happier days, when I should have been able
to enjoy your genius and admire your art. You must be a great actor,
for you have a wonderfully sonorous and pliable voice. I should like
to hear you declaim, even though you should recite but a few
"Permit me, then, to recite the lines in which Wieland celebrated
your 'Creation,'" said Iffland; and, advancing a few steps, holding
the bouquet in his hand, and fixing his gleaming eyes on Haydn, who
gazed at him with a gentle smile, Iffland recited in his full
sonorous voice Wieland's beautiful lines:
"Wie stroem't dein wogender Gesang
In uns're Herzen ein! Wir sehen
Der Schoepfung maecht'gen Gang,
Den Hauch des Herrn auf dem Gewaesser wehen;
Jetzt durch ein blitzend Wort das erste Licht entstehen,
Und die Gestirne sich durch ihre Bahnen drehen;
Wie Baum und Pflanze wird, wie sich der Berg erhebt,
Und froh des Lebens sich die jungen Thiere regen.
Der Donner rollet uns entgegen;
Der Regen saeuselt, jedes Wesen strebt
In's Dasein; und bestimmt, des Schoepfers Werk zu kroenen
Sehn wir das erste Paar, gefuehrt von Deinen Toenen.
Oh, jedes Hochgefuehl, das in dem Herzen schlief,
Ist wach! Wer rufet nicht: wie schoen ist diese Erde?
Und schoener, nun ihr Herr anch dich in's Dasein rief,
Auf dass sein Werk vollendet werde!"
"Thy wondrous song in melting strains
To our mute hearts swift entrance gains;
By magical yet unfelt force,
We see creation's mighty course:
The firmament appears in space--
God breathes upon the water's face.
One flashing word bids primal light appear,
Revolving stars begin their vast career;
Upheaving mountains now are seen,
Tall trees and tender herbage green;
Young animals to being rise,
And animate by living cries;
We hear the mighty thunder roar,
And rains in gushing torrents pour.
All creatures struggle into life; and stand
Before our eyes, fresh from their Maker's hand,
The first pair, led by thy sweet tones.
Now waked by inspiration's art,
Enthusiasm stirs our heart.
Who cries not, 'Earth is passing fair!'
Yet far more fair her Maker is,
How perfect every work of his!"
After concluding his recitation, Iffland approached the old man
quickly, knelt down before him and imprinted a kiss on his clasped
hands. Then, without adding another word, he rose, and, walking
backward as if before a king, approached the door, opened it softly,
and went out, followed by Schmid. [Footnote: The whole account of
this interview between Joseph Haydn and Iffland is in strict
accordance with Iffland's own report of it in his "Theatre-Almanac,"
"Farewell!" exclaimed Haydn, in a deeply-moved voice, and sank back
in the easy-chair. Profound silence now reigned around him; but all
at once this silence was broken by a thundering crash, which caused
the windows to rattle and shook the walls. The deafening noise was
repeated again and again, and rolled through the air like the angry
voice of God.
And now the door opened, and Conrad and Kate, the aged servant-
woman, rushed into the room. "Ah, master, master, it is all up now,
and we are all lost! The Austrians and the French are in force close
to Vienna, and the battle has already commenced."
"The battle has commenced!" exclaimed Joseph Haydn, rising from his
easy-chair, and lifting his hand to heaven. "The battle has
commenced! Good and great God in heaven, protect our fatherland, and
grant Austria a glorious victory over her arrogant foe! Do not allow
Austria and Germany to succumb; help us to defeat the proud enemy
who has humiliated and oppressed us so long! O Lord my God, shield
the honor of Germany and Austria! Protect the emperor!"
And Joseph Haydn walked through the room with the vigor and alacrity
of a youth, dropped his hands on the keys of the piano, and began to
play in full concords the melody of his imperial hymn, "Gott erhalte
Franz den Kaiser!" Conrad and Kate stood behind him, singing in a
low, tremulous tone; but outside, the booming of artillery continued
incessantly, and they heard also the cries of the people who were
hurrying in dismay through the streets, and the tolling of all the
church-bells, which called upon the Viennese to pray to God.
All at once Haydn paused in the middle of the tune; his hands
dropped from the. keys, a long sigh burst from his lips, and he sank
fainting into the arms of his faithful Conrad. His servants carried
him to his couch, and soon succeeded in restoring him to
consciousness. He opened his eyes slowly, and his first glance fell
upon Conrad, who stood weeping at his bedside.
"The nightingale was right; my end is drawing nigh," he said, with a
faint smile. "But I will not die before learning that the Austrians
have defeated the enemy, and that my emperor has gained a battle."
And in truth Joseph Haydn's strong will once more over-powered
death, which had already touched him with its finger. He raised
himself upon his couch; he would not die while Austria was
struggling on the reeking, gory field of battle for the regeneration
or her end.
Two days followed, two dreadful days of uncertainty and terror; they
heard incessantly the booming of artillery; but although the
Viennese gazed down from their church-steeples all day, they were
unable to discern any thing. Tremendous clouds of smoke covered the
country all around, and wrapped the villages of Aspern and Essling
and the island of Lobau in an impenetrable veil of mist.
Joseph Haydn passed these days, the 21st and 22d of May, in silent
grief and gentle resignation; he prayed often, and played his
imperial hymn three times a day.
Thus the morning of the 22d of May had come. Conrad had gone into
the street to ask for news, for the booming of artillery had ceased,
and the battle wars over. "Which side was victorious?" That was the
question which caused all to tremble, and which filled all hearts
with intense anxiety.
Haydn's heart, too, was full of grave anxiety, and, to overcome his
impatience till Conrad's return, he had caused Kate to conduct him
to his piano.
"I will play my imperial hymn," he said, hastily; "I have often
derived comfort and relief from it in the days of uneasiness and
anxiety; and when I play, it my heart is always so much at ease. Its
strength will not fail me to-day either." [Footnote: Haydn's own
words.--See "Zeitgonosson," vol. iv., third series, p. 36.]
He commenced playing; a blissful smile illuminated his features; he
lifted his radiant eyes to heaven, and his music grew louder and
fierier, and his fingers glided more powerfully over the keys of the
piano. Suddenly the door was thrown open, and Conrad rushed in,
panting from the rapid run, flushed with excitement, but with a
"Victory!" he shouted. "Victory!" And he sank down at Haydn's feet.
"Which side was victorious?" asked Haydn, anxiously.
"The Austrians were victorious," said Conrad, pantingly. "Our
Archduke Charles has defeated the Emperor Napoleon at Aspern; the
whole French army retreated to the island of Lobau, whence it can no
longer escape. Thousands of French corpses are floating down the
Danube, and proclaiming to the world that Austria has conquered the
French! Hurrah! hurrah! Our hero, the Archduke Charles, has defeated
the villainous Bonaparte! Hurrah!"
"Hurrah! hurrah!" repeated the parrot on its pole; and the cat
raised its head from the cushion on which it had lain, and gazed
with keen, searching eyes at the parrot, as if it had understood
Paperl's jubilant notes.
Joseph Haydn said nothing, but clasped his hands and looked
rapturously upward. After a pause he exclaimed, in a loud and joyous
voice: "Lord God, I thank Thee for not disappointing my firm trust,
but protecting Austria and helping her to vanquish her foe. I knew
full well that the just cause would triumph, and the just cause is
that of Austria; for France, hypocritical France alone provoked this
war, and Austria drew the sword only to defend her honor and her
frontiers. The just cause could not but triumph, and hence Austria
had to conquer, and France, had to succumb in this struggle. God
protect the Emperor Francis! I may lay down now and die. Austria is
victorious! That is the last joyful greeting which the world sends
to me. With this greeting I will die--ay, die! Death is already
drawing nigh. But Death wears a laurel-wreath on its head, and its
eye is radiant with triumphant joy. Glory to Austria! Glory to the
These were Joseph Haydn's last words. He fainted away. It is true
the physicians succeeded in restoring him to life, and he breathed
yet for six days; but his life resembled only the last feeble
flicker of the dying flame, and in the night of the 30th of May
death came to extinguish this flickering flame.
THE ARCHDUKE JOHN AT COMORN.
The unheard-of event, then, had taken place. Napoleon had been
defeated by the Austrians. The Archduke Charles had gained a
brilliant victory; Napoleon had transferred his whole army to the
island of Lobau; he himself passed his time in moody broodings at
the castle of Ebersberg, and the unexpected disaster which had
befallen him and which at the same time had brought about the death
of one of his favorites, Marshal Lannes, seemed to have suddenly
deprived the emperor of all his energy. He did not speak, he did not
eat; he sat for whole days in his cabinet, staring at the maps
spread out before him on his table, and yet forgetting to cover
them, as he used to do on conceiving the plans of his campaigns,
with the colored pins which represented the different armies.
Victory had no longer been able to soften this marble Caesarean
face, but defeat caused his features now to wear an expression of
profound anger and grief. Nevertheless, he did not complain, and
never did he confess even to his confidants that he was suffering.
Only once, for a brief moment, he lifted the veil concealing his
feelings, and permitted his marshals to see into the innermost
recesses of his soul. Marmont had dared to pray the emperor, in the
name of all the marshals, to yield no longer to his grief at what
had occurred, but bear in mind that it was incumbent on him to
preserve himself for the welfare of his subjects and the glory of
his future. Napoleon had answered with a faint smile: "You think I
am sitting here to brood over my misfortune? It is true, I am
burying my dead, and, as there are unfortunately a great many of
them, it takes me a long time to do it. But over the tomb of the
dead of Essling I am going to erect a monument which will be radiant
with the splendor of victory, and on its frontispiece shall be read
the word 'Vengeance!' The Emperor of Austria is lost. Had I defeated
him in this battle, I should, perhaps, have forgiven his arrogance
and perfidy; but as he defeated me, I must and shall annihilate him
and his army."
While Napoleon was thus burying his dead, and reflecting on his
"monument of vengeance," the utmost rejoicings reigned at the
headquarters of the Archduke Charles, the victor of Aspern; and all
Austria, all Germany joined in these rejoicings, and blessed the
glorious day of Bonaparte's first humiliation.
And this victory was soon followed by the news of a triumph hardly
less glorious than the battle of Aspern. The Tyrolese, those
despised peasants, had gained a brilliant victory over the French
veterans, and their Bavarian auxiliaries, on the 21st of May, on
Mount Isel, near the city of Innspruck. Andreas Hofer, commander-in-
chief of the united forces of the Tyrolese, jointly with
Speckbacher, Wallner, and the Capuchin Haspinger, had again defeated
the Bavarians and French, who had re-entered the Tyrol, and
delivered the province a second time from the enemy.
Count Nugent, quartermaster-general of the Archduke John, had
entered the latter's room with this joyful news, and told him with
sparkling eyes of the heroic deeds of the Tyrolese; of Hofer's pious
zeal; of the bold exploits of Wallner and Speckbacher, whose deeds
recalled the ancient heroes of Homer; of the intrepid Capuchin
friar, Haspinger, who, with a huge wooden cross in his hand, led on
the attack, and animated his followers not less by his example than
the assurances of Divine protection which he held forth. Count
Nugent had related all these heroic deeds with fervid eloquence to
the archduke, and yet, to his utter astonishment, the latter's face
had remained gloomy, and not a ray of joy had illuminated it.
"Your imperial highness, then, does not share my exultation?" he
asked, mournfully. "You receive the news quite coldly and
indifferently, and yet I am speaking of your beloved Tyrolese, of
your heroes, Andreas Hofer, Joseph Speckbacher, and Anthony Wallner?
They and their heroic men have delivered the Tyrol a second time
from the enemy, and your imperial highness does not rejoice at it?"
"No, my dear Count," said the archduke, sighing, "for they will lose
it again. All this blood will have been shed in vain, and my poor
Tyrol will be lost in spite of it."
"You believe so?--you who called upon the Tyrolese to take up arms,
who invited its heroes and champions to such daring efforts, who are
ready yourself to fight for the courageous mountaineers to the last
"Yes, I am always ready to do so," cried John, laughing bitterly,
"but what good will it do? They will wind cunning shackles enough
round my feet to make me fall to the ground; they will manacle my
hands again, and put my will into the strait-jacket of loyalty and
obedience. I cannot do what I want to; I am only a tool in the hands
of others, and this will cause both my ruin and that of the Tyrol. I
am willing to sacrifice my life for the Tyrol, and yet I shall be
unable to save it. For the rest, my friend, I knew already all these
particulars of the battle on Mount Isel. A courier from Hormayr had
just reached me and brought me full details. I was able to send back
by the courier a fine reward for the brave Tyrolese, a letter from
the emperor, my august brother, which I received this morning with
the order to forward it to them. I kept a copy of the imperial
letter, for there may be a day when it will be necessary for me to
remind the emperor of this letter. Here is the copy. Read it aloud,
that I may hear, too, how fine the imperial words sound."
The archduke handed a paper to Count Nugent, who read as follows:
"After our arms had suffered heavy reverses, and after the enemy had
captured even the capital of the empire, my army succeeded in
defeating the French army under Napoleon on the 21st and 22d of May,
on the Marshfield, and driving it in disorder across the Danube. The
army and people of Austria are animated with greater enthusiasm than
ever; every thing justifies the most sanguine hopes. Trusting in God
and my just cause, I declare to my loyal provinces of the Tyrol and
Vorarlberg, that they shall never again be separated from the
Austrian empire, and that I will sign no peace but one which will
indissolubly incorporate these provinces with my other states. Your
noble conduct has sunk deep into my heart; I will never abandon you.
My beloved brother, the Archduke John, will speedily be among you,
and put himself at your head. FRANCIS."
[Footnote: Hormayr, "Das Heer von Inner-Oesterreich unter den
Befehlen des Erzherzogs Johann," p. 189.]
"And your imperial highness doubts, even after this solemn promise
given to the Tyrolese by his majesty the emperor?"
"My friend," said the archduke, casting a long, searching look round
the room, "we are alone, no one watches, and, I trust, no one hears
us. Let me, therefore, for once, speak frankly with you; let me
unbosom to you, my friend, what I have hitherto said to God alone;
let me forget for a quarter of an hour that I am a subject of the
emperor, and that his majesty is my brother; permit me to examine
the situation with the eyes of an impartial observer, and to judge
of men as a man. Well, then, I must confess to you that I cannot
share the universal joy at the recent events, and--may God forgive
me!--I do not believe even in the promises which the emperor makes
to the Tyrolese. He himself may at the present hour be firmly
resolved to fulfil them; he may have made up his mind never to sign
any peace but one which will indissolubly incorporate the Tyrol with
his empire; but the events, and especially men, will assuredly
compel him to consent to another treaty of peace. You know full well
that there are two parties about the emperor, and that there is a
constant feud between these two parties. One wants war, the other
wants peace; and the peace-party is unfortunately headed by the
Archduke Charles, the generalissimo of our army. You know the
fawning and submissive letter which the generalissimo addressed to
Napoleon after the defeat of Ratisbon, and which Napoleon disdained
to answer. [Footnote: The Archduke Charles wrote to Napoleon on the
30th of April, 1809: "Your Majesty announced your arrival by a salvo
of artillery; I had no time to reply to it. But, though hardly
informed of your presence, I speedily discovered it by the losses
which I experienced. You have taken many prisoners from me, sire,
and I have taken some thousands from you in quarters where you were
not personally present. I propose to your majesty to exchange them,
man for man, rank for rank; and, if that proposal proves agreeable
to you, point out the place where it may be possible to carry it
into effect. I feel flattered, sire, in combating the greatest
captain of the age; but I should esteem myself much happier if
Heaven had chosen me to be the instrument of procuring for my
country a durable peace. Whatever may be the events of war, or the
chances of an accommodation, I pray your majesty to believe that my
desires will always outstrip your wishes, and that I am equally
honored by meeting your majesty either with the sword or the olive-
branch in your hand."] The war-party is headed by the empress and
Count Stadion. But the empress has unfortunately little influence
over her husband, and Count Stadion is no more influential than her
majesty. His generous enthusiasm and fiery impetuosity are repugnant
to the emperor, who will remove him so soon as he has discovered a
more submissive and obsequious successor who has as much work in him
as Stadion. But there is one point as to which these incessantly
quarrelling parties are agreed and join hands, and that is their
common hostility against the arch-dukes, the emperor's brothers; so
virulent is this hatred, that the peace-party deserts its leader in
order to operate with the war-party against him and his interests.
The Austrian nobility has always claimed the privilege of filling
all superior offices, and it is furious at seeing the archdukes
animated with the desire of dedicating their abilities to their
fatherland and their emperor. Hence, the nobility is decidedly
opposed to the success of the archdukes, which might set bounds to
its oligarchy. It opposes me as well as the other archdukes, whether
this opposition may endanger the interests of the fatherland, and
even the emperor, or not. Things would be even more prosperous in
this campaign, if the generals serving under the archdukes had
carried out the orders of their superiors with greater zeal,
promptness, and willingness. But they have been intentionally slow;
they have often hesitated, misunderstood, or purposely forgotten
their orders. They are intent on proving the incapacity of the
archdukes in order to overthrow them; and they well know that they
are rendering a service to the emperor by doing so, for they are
aware that the emperor does not love his brothers."
"No, your imperial highness," exclaimed Nugent, when the archduke
paused with a sigh. "I hope that this is going too far, and that you
are likewise mistaken about it. It is impossible that the emperor
should not love his brothers, who are doing so much honor to the
imperial house by their surpassing accomplishments, virtues, and
"My friend, you speak like a courtier," said John, shaking his head,
"and you exaggerate as a friend. But even though you were right,
those qualities would not be calculated to render the emperor's
heart more attached to us. He wants the emperor alone to shed lustre
on, and do honor to the imperial house, and not the archdukes, his
father's younger sons, whom he hates."
"No, no, your imperial highness, it is impossible that the emperor
should hate his brothers!"
"And why impossible?" asked John, shrugging his shoulders. "Do not
his brothers, the archdukes, hate each other? Or do you believe,
perhaps, that the Archduke Charles, our generalissimo, loves me, or
even wishes me well? I was so unfortunate as to be twice victorious
during the present campaign, while he was twice defeated; I beat the
French at Sacile and St. Boniface, while he lost the battles of
Landshut and Ratisbon. This is a crime which the archduke will never
forgive me, and for which he will revenge himself."
"Perhaps he thinks that he took a noble and glorious revenge at the
battle of Aspern?"
"Oh, my friend, you forgot that our mother was a daughter of Italy,
and that we, therefore, do not care for a noble and glorious
revenge, but long for an Italian vendetta. The generalissimo will
not content himself with having obtained glory, but I must suffer a
defeat, a disgrace, which will neutralize what few laurels I
gathered at Sacile and St. Boniface. Oh, I know my brother the
generalissimo; I see all the little threads which he is spinning
around me, and which, as soon as they are strong enough, he will
convert into a net, in which he will catch me, in order to exhibit
me to the world as an ignoramus and dreamer, destitute both of
ability and luck as a general. Do not tell me that I am mistaken, my
friend; I have hitherto observed every thing with close attention,
and my observations unfortunately do not deceive me. The
generalissimo is desirous of punishing me for my victories at Sacile
and St. Boniface, and for advocating a declaration of war when he
pronounced three times against it. He has already several times told
the emperor that I am self-willed, disobedient, and always inclined
to oppose his orders by words or even deeds; and the emperor always
takes pleasure in informing me of the generalissimo's complaints."
"It is true," sighed Count Nugent; "this aversion of the
generalissimo to your imperial highness unfortunately cannot be
denied, and you yourself have to suffer by it."
"Oh," cried John, impetuously, "if that were all, I should not
complain; I should add it to the many other pin-pricks of my fate,
and strive to bear it without murmuring. But my soldiers and the
glory of the Austrian arms suffer by it, and it will destroy the
liberty of the Tyrol. It is well known that this is my most
vulnerable point; that I love the Tyrol, and am determined to leave
nothing undone in order to redeem the emperor's pledges to preserve
the Tyrol to the imperial house, and restore its ancient privileges
and liberties. It is known, too, that I long intensely to live in
the future days of peace as the emperor's lieutenant in the Tyrol;
to live, far from the noisy bustle of the capital, in the peaceful
seclusion of the mountain country, for myself, my studies, and the
men whom I love, and who love me. Oh, my poor, unfortunate Tyrol
will grievously suffer for the love which I bear it; Austria will
lose it a second time, and now, perhaps, forever."
"Does your imperial highness believe so?" cried Nugent, in dismay.
"You believe so, even after communicating to me the letter in which
the emperor promises to the Tyrolese never to sign a peace that will
not indissolubly incorporate the Tyrol and Vorarlberg with his
monarchy, and in which he announces the speedy arrival of his
beloved brother John, who is to put himself at the head of the
"My friend, these numerous and liberal promises are the very things
that make me distrustful, and convince me that they are not meant
seriously. If the emperor had the preservation of the Tyrol really
at heart, and intended earnestly that my army should succor and save
the Tyrolese, would he not have left me at liberty to operate
according to the dictates of my own judgment and in full harmony
with the Tyrolese, instead of tying my hands, and regarding and
employing my force only as a secondary and entirely dependent corps
of the generalissimo's army? Look into the past, Nugent, bear in
mind all that has happened since we took the field, and tell me then
whether I am right or not?"
"Unfortunately you are," sighed Nugent; "I can no longer contradict
your imperial highness, I cannot deny that many a wrong has been
inflicted on you and us; that you have have always been prevented
from taking the initiative in a vigorous manner; that you and your
army have constantly been kept in a secondary and dependent
position; that your plans have incessantly been frustrated, and that
your superiors have often done the reverse of what you wished and
deemed prudent and advisable."
"My friend at they will hereafter say that I was alone to blame for
the failure of my plans," cried the archduke, with a mournful smile;
"they will charge me with having been unable to carry out the
grandiloquent promises which I made to the emperor and the Tyrolese,
and the emperor will exult at the discomfiture of the boastful
archduke who took it upon himself to call out the whole people of
the Tyrol, put himself at their head, and successfully defend
against all enemies this fortress which God and Nature erected for
Austria. The faithful Tyrolese have taken up arms; I am ready to put
myself at their head, but already I have been removed from the
Tyrol, and my arm is paralyzed so that I can no longer stretch it
out to take the hand which the Tyrol is holding out to me
beseechingly. If I had been permitted to advance after the victories
which my army gained over the Viceroy of Italy and Marmont, I should
probably now already have expelled the enemy from Upper Italy and
the Southern Tyrol. But I was not allowed to follow up my successes;
I was stopped in the midst of my victorious career. Because the
generalissimo's army had been defeated at Ratisbon, I was compelled,
instead of pursuing the enemy energetically and obliging him to keep
on the defensive, to retreat myself, and, instead of being the
pursuer, be pursued by the forces of the viceroy. Instead of going
to the Tyrol, I was ordered by the generalissimo to turn toward
Hungary and unite with the volunteers in that country. No sooner had
I done so, than I was ordered to advance again toward the Southern
Tyrol, march upon Villach and Salzburg, unite with Jellachich, form
a connection with Field-Marshal Giulay, and operate with them in the
rear of the enemy, who was already in the immediate neighborhood of
Vienna. And he who gave me these orders did not know that Jellachich
had in the meantime been beaten at Wurzl; that Villach had been
occupied by the French; that I was not in the rear of the enemy, but
that the enemy was in my rear; be did not or would not know that the
Viceroy of Italy was in my rear with thirty-six thousand men, and
that the Duke of Dantzic was in front of my position at Salzburg.
Since then we have been moving about amidst incessant skirmishes and
incessant losses; and scarcely had we reached Comorn to re-organize
and re-enforce my little army, when we received orders to march to
the island of Schutt and toward Presburg. I vainly tried to
remonstrate and point to the weakness and exhaustion of my troops; I
vainly asked for time to reorganize my forces, when I would attack
Macdonald and prevent him from uniting with Napoleon. I vainly
proved that this was his intention, and that no one could hinder him
from carrying it into effect, so soon as I had to turn toward
Presburg and open to Macdonald the road to Vienna. My remonstrances
were disregarded; pains were taken to prove to me that I was but a
tool, a wheel in the great machine of state, and the orders were
renewed for me to march into Hungary. Well, I will submit again--I
will obey again; but I will not do so in silence; I will, at least,
tell the emperor that I do it in spite of myself, and will march to
Presburg and Raab only if he approves of the generalissmo's orders."
"That is to say, your imperial highness is going to declare openly
against the generalissimo?"
"No; it is to say that I am going to inform my sovereign of my
doubts and fears, and unbosom to him my wishes and convictions. You
smile, my friend. It is true, I am yet a poor dreamer, speculating
on the heart, and believing that the truth must triumph in the end.
I shall, however, at least be able to say that I have done my duty,
and had the courage to inform the emperor of the true state of
affairs. I shall repair this very day to his majesty's headquarters
at Wolkersdorf. I will dare once more to speak frankly and
fearlessly to him. I will oppose my enemies at least with open
visor, and show to them that I am not afraid of them. God knows, if
only my own personal honor and safety were at stake, I should
withdraw in silence, and shut up my grief and my apprehensions in my
bosom; but my fatherland is at stake, and so is the poor Tyrol, so
enthusiastic in its love, so unwavering in its fidelity; and so are
the honor and glory of our arms. Hence, I will dare once more to
speak the truth, and may God impart strength to my words!"
THE EMPEROR FRANCIS AT WOLBERSDORF.
The Emperor of Austria was still at his headquarters at Wolkersdorf.
The news of the victory at Aspern had illuminated the Emperor's face
with the first rays of hope, and greatly lessened the influence of
the peace-party over him. The war-party became more confident; the
beautiful, pale face of the Empress Ludovica became radiant as it
had never been seen before; and Count Stadion told the emperor he
would soon be able to return to Vienna.
But the Emperor Francis shook his head with an incredulous smile.
"You do not know Bonaparte," he said, "if you think he will, because
he has suffered a defeat, be immediately ready to make peace and
return to France. Now he will not rest before he gains a victory and
repairs the blunders he has committed. There is wild and insidious
blood circulating in Bonaparte's veins, and the battle of Aspern has
envenomed it more than ever. Did you not hear, Stadion, of what
Bonaparte is reported to have said? He declared that there was no
longer a dynasty of the Hapsburgs, but only the petty princes of
Lorraine. And do you not know that he has addressed to the
Hungarians a proclamation advising them to depose me without further
ceremony, and elect another king, of course one of the new-fangled
French princes? Do you not know that he has sent to Hungary
emissaries who are calling upon the people to rise against me and
conquer their liberty, which he, Bonaparte, would protect? In truth,
it is laughable to hear Bonaparte still prating about liberty as
though it were a piece of sugar which he has only to put into the
mouth of the nations, when they are crying like babies, in order to
silence them, and thereupon pull the wool quietly over their eyes.
But it is true, the nations really are like babies; they do not
become reasonable and wise, and the accursed word 'liberty,' which
Bonaparte puts as a flea into their ears, maddens them still as
though a tarantula had bitten them. They have seen in Italy and
France what sort of liberty Napoleon brings to them, and what a yoke
he intends to lay on their necks while telling them that he wishes
to make freemen of them. But they do not become wise, and who knows
if the Magyars will not likewise allow themselves to be fooled and
believe in the liberty which Bonaparte promises to them?"
"No, your majesty," said Count Stadion, "the Magyars are no
children; they are men who know full well what to think of
Bonaparte's insidious flatteries, and will not permit him to mislead
them by his deceptive promises. They received the Archduke John with
genuine enthusiasm, and every day volunteers are flocking to his
standards to fight against the despot who, like a demon of terror,
tramples the peace and prosperity of all Europe under his bloody
feet. No, Bonaparte can no longer count upon the sympathies of the
nations; they are all ready to rise against him, and in the end
hatred will accomplish that which love and reason were unable to
bring about. The hatred of the nations will crush Bonaparte and hurl
him from his throne."
"Provided the princes of the Rhenish Confederation do not support
him, or provided the Emperor Alexander of Russia does not catch him
in his arms," said Francis, shrugging his shoulders." I have no
great confidence in what you call the nations; they are really
reckless and childish people. If Bonaparte is lucky again, even the
Germans will idolize him before long; but if he is unlucky, they
will stone him. Just look at my illustrious brother, the
generalissimo. After the defeats of Landshut and Ratisbon, and the
humble letter which he wrote to Bonaparte, you, Count Stadion,
thought it would be good for the Archduke Charles if we gave him a
successor, and if we removed him, tormented as he is by a painful
disease, from the command-in-chief of the army. We, therefore,
suggested to the archduke quietly to present his resignation which
would be promptly accepted. But the generalissimo would not hear of
it, and thought he would have first to make amends for the defeats
which he had sustained at Landshut and Ratisbon. Now he has done so;
he has avenged his former defeats and achieved a victory at Aspern;
and after this brilliant victory he comes and offers his
resignation, stating that his feeble health compels him to lay down
the command and surrender if to some one else. But all at once my
minister of foreign affairs has changed his mind: the victory of
Aspern has converted him, and he thinks now that the generalissimo
must remain at the head of the army. If so sagacious and eminent a
man as Count Stadion allows success to mould his opinion, am I not
right in not believing that the frivolous fellows whom you call 'the
nations' have no well-settled opinions at all?"
"Pardon me, sire," said Count Stadion, smiling; "your majesty
commits a slight error. Your majesty confounds principles with
opinions. An honorable man and an honorable nation may change their
opinions, but never will they change their principles. Now the
firmer and more immovable their principles are, the more easily they
may come to change their opinions; for they seek for instruments to
carry out their principles; they profit to-day by the cervices of a
tool which seems to them sufficiently sharp to perform its task, and
they cast it aside to-morrow because it has become blunt, and must
be replaced by another. This is what happens to the nations and to
myself at this juncture. The nations are bitterly opposed to France;
the whole German people, both north and south, is unanimous in its
intense hatred against Napoleon. The nations do not allow him to
deceive them; they see through the Caesarean mask, and perceive the
face of the tyrant, despot, and intriguer, lurking behind it. They
do not believe a word of his pacific protestations and promises of
freedom and liberal reforms; for they see that he always means war
when he prates about peace, that he means tyranny when he promises
liberty, and that he gives Draconic laws instead of establishing
liberal institutions. The nations hate Napoleon and abhor his
despotic system. They seek for means to annihilate him and deliver
at length the bloody and trembling world from him. If the princes
were as unanimous in their hatred as the nations are, Germany would
stand as one man, sword in hand; and this sublime and imposing
spectacle would cause Napoleon to retreat with his host beyond the
Rhine, the German Rhine, whose banks would be guarded by the united
people of Germany." "You speak like a Utopian, my dear count," said
the emperor, with a shrug. "If the united people of Germany are
alone able to defeat and expel Bonaparte, he will never he defeated
and expelled, for Germany will never be united; she will never stand
up as one man, but always resemble a number of rats grown together
by their tails, and striving to move in opposite directions. Let us
speak no more of a united Germany; it was the phantom that ruined my
uncle, the Emperor Joseph, whom enthusiasts call the Great Joseph.
But I do not want to be ruined, and therefore I do not want to hear
any thing of a united Germany. Thank God, since 1806, I am no longer
Emperor of Germany, but only Emperor of Austria, and that is enough
for me. I do not care what the princes of the Confederation of the
Rhine are doing, nor what intrigues Prussia is entering into in
order to rise from its humiliating prostration; I fix my eyes only
on Austria, and think only whether Austria will be able to cope with
Bonaparte, or whether she may not ultimately fare as badly as
Prussia did. We have unfortunately experienced already one
Austerlitz; if we should suffer another defeat like it, we would be
lost; hence we must be cautious, and I ask you, therefore, why you
do not want me now to accept the resignation of the generalissimo,
when, only a fortnight ago, you advocated his removal from the
command-in-chief of the army?"
"Your majesty, because a fortnight ago he had been repeatedly
defeated, and because he has now gained a brilliant victory. This
shows your majesty again the difference between opinions and
principles. Opinions change and are influenced by success. After the
battle of Ratisbon, the generalissimo was looked upon with distrust
and anxiety by his army, nay, by the whole people of Austria, who
turned their eyes to the Archduke John, the victor of Sacile and St.
Boniface, and wanted to see at the head of the army a victorious
general, instead of the defeated Archduke Charles; but the latter
has acted the hero, and been victorious at Aspern, and the love and
confidence of the army and people are restored to him; all look upon
him as the liberator of the fatherland, and will stand by him until-
"Until he loses another battle," interrupted the emperor,
sneeringly. "My dear count, one swallow does not make a summer, and-
-Well, what is it, Leonard?" said the emperor, turning quickly to
his footman, who entered the room at this moment.
"Your majesty, his imperial highness the Archduke John has just
arrived, and requests an audience."
"Let the archduke come in," said the emperor; and when the footman
had withdrawn, Francis turned again to the minister. "He is the
second swallow in which the childish people here are hoping," he
said. "But two swallows do not make a summer either; there may still
be a frost under which John's young laurels of Sacile and St.
Boniface will wither.--Ah, here is my brother."
The emperor advanced a few steps to meet the Archduke John, who had
just crossed the threshold, and stood still at the door to bow
deeply and reverentially to his imperial brother.
"No ceremonies, brother, no ceremonies," said the emperor, smiling;
"we are here not in the imperial palace, but in the camp; my crown
is in Vienna, and my head is therefore bare, while yours is wreathed
The emperor said this in so sarcastic a tone that the archduke gave
a start, and his cheeks crimsoned with indignation. But he
restrained his anger, and fixed his eyes calmly on the sneering face
of the emperor.
"Your majesty condescends to jest," he said, composedly, "and I am
glad to see from this that my brother, the victor of Aspern, has
gladdened your majesty's heart."
"Your majesty," said Count Stadion, in a low, pressing tone, "will
you not graciously permit me to withdraw?"
"Ah, you think your presence would be inconvenient during our
interview, and might hinder the free exchange of our confidential
communications? But I do not believe that I and my brother have any
special secrets to communicate to each other, so that the presence
of my minister would be inconvenient to us. However, let the
archduke decide this point. Tell me therefore, brother, is it
necessary that you should see me alone and without witnesses?"
"On the contrary, your majesty," said John, calmly, "it will be
agreeable to me if the minister of foreign affairs is present at our
interview; for, as your majesty deigned to observe, we never have
confidential communications to make to each other, and as we shall
speak only of business affairs, the minister may take part in the
"Stay, then, count. And now, my esteemed brother, may I take the
liberty of asking what induced the commanding-general of my army of
Upper Austria, now stationed at Comorn, to leave his post and pay me
a friendly visit here at Wolkersdorf?"
"Your majesty, I come to implore my sovereign to graciously fulfil
the promise which your majesty vouchsafed to me at Vienna. Your
majesty promised me that I should succor with the forces intrusted
to me the Tyrolese in their heroic struggle for deliverance from the
foreign yoke, and that I might devote all my efforts to aiding this
noble and heroic people, which has risen as one man in order to be
incorporated again with Austria. It was I who organized the
insurrection of the Tyrol, who appointed the leaders of the
peasants, and fixed the day and hour when the insurrection was to
"Yes, yes, it is true," interrupted the emperor; "you proved that
you were a skilful and shrewd revolutionist, and it was really
fortunate for me that you availed yourself of your revolutionary
talents, not AGAINST me, but FOR me. If I shall ever recover full
possession of the Tyrol, I shall be indebted for it only to the
revolutionary skill of my brother John; and I shall always look upon
it as an act of great disinterestedness on your part to leave me the
Tyrol, and not keep it for yourself; for it is in your hands, and it
is you whom the Tyrolese in their hearts call their real emperor."
"Your majesty is distrustful of the love of the faithful Tyrolese,"
said John, mournfully, "and yet they have sealed it with their blood
since the insurrection broke out; it was always the name of their
Emperor Francis with which they went into battle, the name of the
Emperor Francis with which they exulted triumphantly when God and
their intrepidity made them victorious."
"No, archduke, I know better!" exclaimed the Emperor, vehemently.
"They did not confine themselves to rendering homage to me, but when
the peasants had taken Innspruck, they placed the Archduke John's
picture on the triumphal arch by the side of my own portrait,
surrounded it with candles, and rendered the same homage to it as to
that of the emperor."
"It is true, the honest peasants know nothing of etiquette," said
John, sadly." They believed in their simplicity that they might love
a little their emperor's brother, who had been sent to their
assistance by his majesty, and that they might place his picture
without further ceremony by the side of that of the emperor. But
that they nevertheless knew very well how to distinguish the emperor
from the archduke, and that they granted to the emperor the first
place in their hearts, and deemed him the sole object of their
loyalty, is proved by the song which the Tyrolese sang with
enthusiastic unanimity on fastening the Austrian eagle to the
imperial palace at Innspruck. As such full particulars of the events
in the Tyrol were sent to your majesty, I am sure this beautiful
song was likewise communicated to you."
"No, it was not," said the emperor, carelessly. "What song is it?"
"Your majesty, it is a hymn of joy and triumph which, ever since
that day, is sung by all Tyrolese, not only by the men, but also by
the women and children, and which resounds now as the spring-hymn of
the new era both in the valleys and on the summits of the mountains.
I am sorry that I do not know the words by hearts, but I shall have
the honor of sending them to your majesty. I remember only the
refrain of every verse, which is as follows:"
"'Ueberall lebt'st seh treu und bieder, Wo der Adler uns angeschaut,
Und nu' haben wir unsern Franzel wieder, Weil wir halt auf Gott and
ihn vertraut.'" [Footnote: "Far reaching as the eagle's view, Are
beating loyal hearts and true; Once more our Francis can we claim,
Because we trust in God's great name!"]
"That is quite pretty," said the emperor, smiling. "And is that the
song they are singing now in the Tyrol?"
"Your majesty, they not only sing it, but they believe in it too.
Yes, the Tyrolese confide in your majesty; they believe implicitly
in the promises which your majesty has made to them, and they would
punish as a traitor any one who should dare to tell them that these
promises would not be fulfilled."
"And who asserts that they will not be fulfilled?" asked the
"Your majesty, the facts will unfortunately soon convince the
Tyrolese that they must not look for the fulfilment of these
promises," said the archduke, sighing. "At the very moment when the
Tyrol is being threatened by two hostile armies, those of the
Viceroy of Italy and the Duke of Dantzic, and when the Tyrol,
therefore, if it is not to succumb again to such enormous odds,
urgently needs assistance and succor, I receive orders to leave the
Tyrol and march to Hungary. That is to say, I am to give up
Salzburg, which is occupied by the French; I am not to succor
Innspruck, which is menaced by Baraguay d'Hilliers. Not only am I
not to lend any assistance to the Tyrolese, but I am to break their
moral courage and paralyze their energy, by showing to them by my
retreat that the emperor's promises will not be fulfilled, and that
the army of Upper Austria abandons the Tyrol to succor Hungary."
"Well, the Tyrol is not yet abandoned, even though the Archduke John
is no longer there," said the emperor, shrugging his shoulders. "We
have two generals with corps there, have we not? Are not the Marquis
of Chasteler and Count Buol there?"
"They are, your majesty; but the Marquis of Chasteler is morally
paralyzed by the sentence of outlawry which Napoleon has issued
against him, and Count Buol has too few troops to oppose the enemy's
operations, which are not checked by any corps outside the Tyrol."
"Ah, you wish to give me another proof of the fraternal love
reigning between you and the Archduke Charles?" asked the emperor
sarcastically. "You wish to oppose the orders of your
"I wish to ask the emperor, my sovereign, whether I am to give up
the Tyrol or not; I wish to ask him if he orders me to march my army
to Presburg, unite with the insurgent forces, and operate there
against the enemy."
"Are these the generalissimo's orders?"
"They are, your majesty."
"And what else does he command?"
"He commands me, further, to make myself master of the two islands
of Schutt in front of Presburg, take Altenburg by a coup de main,
and garrison, supply, and provision the two fortresses of Raab and
Comorn for six months."
A sarcastic expression overspread the emperor's face.
"Well, these are excellent and most energetic orders," he said.
"Carry them out, therefore."
"But, your majesty, it is not in my power to do so. These orders
look very fine on paper, but they cannot be carried into effect. I
have neither troops nor supplies enough to garrison, supply, and
provision Raab and Comorn, and hold Presburg, even after effecting a
junction with the troops of the Archduke Palatine and the Hungarian
volunteers. And the generalissimo is well aware of it, for I have
always acquainted him with what occurred in my army; he knows that
my forces and those of the Archduke Palatine together are scarcely
twenty-five thousand strong, and that one-half of these troops
consists of undisciplined recruits. He knows that the enemy is
threatening us on all sides with forty thousand veteran troops. The
generalissimo is so well aware of this, that he spoke of the
weakness of the remnants of my army in the dispatches which he
addressed to me only a few days ago. But the victory of Aspern seems
suddenly to have made the generalissimo believe that, inasmuch as he
himself has performed extraordinary things, he may demand of me what
"What is impossible?" said the emperor, with mischievous joy. "So
brave and heroic a soldier as you, archduke, will not deem
impossible what his chief orders him to do. The Archduke Charles is
your chief, and you have to obey him. He orders you to hold Raab and
Presburg. Go, then, and carry out the orders of your commander-in-
"As your majesty commands me to do so, I shall obey," said John,
calmly; "only I call your majesty's attention to the fact that, if
the enemy accelerates his operations and compels me soon to give
battle, I shall be unable to hold Raab, for which so little hag been
done hitherto, and that I shall lose the battle unless the
generalissimo sends a strong corps to my assistance."
"It is your business to come to an understanding with the
generalissimo as to that point. He possesses my full confidence, for
he showed excellent generalship at Aspern. There is no reason why I
should distrust him."
"And God forbid that I should wish to render you distrustful of
him!" exclaimed John, vehemently. "I hope my brother Charles will
remain yet a long while at the head of the army, and give many
successors to the victory of Aspern."
"But you doubt if he will, do you not?" asked the emperor, fixing
his small light-blue eyes with a searching expression on John's
face. "You do not rejoice much at the brilliant victory of Aspern?
You do not think that Bonaparte is entirely crushed and will hasten
to offer us peace?"
"Your majesty, you yourself do not believe it," said John, with a
smile. "Napoleon is not the man to be deterred by a defeat from
following up his plans; he will pursue them only the more
energetically, and he will attain his ends, though, perhaps,
somewhat less rapidly, unless we adopt more decisive measures."
"Look, Stadion," exclaimed the emperor, smiling, "I am glad that the
Archduke John agrees with me. He repeats only what I said to you
"But, your majesty, the archduke added something to it," said Count
Stadion, quickly; "he said Austria ought to adopt more decisive
"Ah, and now you hope that the archduke will say to me what you have
already said so often, and that he will make the same proposals in
regard to more decisive measures as you did, minister?"
"Yes, I do hope it, your majesty."
"Well, let us see," exclaimed the emperor, with great vivacity.
"Tell me, therefore, archduke, what more decisive measures you
"Your majesty," replied John, quickly, "I meant that we should
strive to get rid of our isolated position, and look around for
allies who will aid us not only with money, as England does, but
also with troops."
"And what allies would be most desirable for Austria, according to
your opinion, archduke?"
The archduke cast a rapid, searching glance on the face of the
minister, who responded to it by a scarcely perceptible nod of his
"Your majesty," said Archduke John, quickly, "Prussia would be the
most desirable ally for Austria."
The emperor started back, and then turned almost angrily to Stadion.
"In truth," he said, "it is just as I thought; the archduke repeats
your own proposals. It seems, then, that the formerly so courageous
war-party at my court suddenly droops its wings, and thinks no
longer that we are able to cope single-handed with Bonaparte. Hence,
its members have agreed to urge me to conclude an alliance with
Prussia, and now come the besieging forces which are to overcome my
repugnance. The minister himself was the first to break the subject
to me; now he calls the Archduke John to his assistance, and takes
pains to be present at the very hour when the archduke arrives here
to second his efforts in attacking me. Half an hour later, and the
empress will make her appearance to assist you, and convince me that
we ought to secure, above all things, the alliance of Prussia."
"Pardon me, your majesty," said Count Stadion, earnestly; "I have,
unfortunately, not the honor of being one of the archduke's
confidants, and I pledge you my word of honor that I did not know at
all that his royal highness was coming hither."
"And I pledge your majesty my word of honor that neither the empress
nor Count Stadion ever intimated to me, directly or indirectly, that
they share my views, and have advocated them already before your
"Then you have come quite independently, and of your own accord, to
the conclusion that we ought to form an alliance with Prussia?"
"Yes, your majesty; I believe that this has now become a necessity
"But Prussia is a humiliated and exhausted state, which exists only
by Bonaparte's grace and the intercession of the Emperor of Russia."
"Your majesty speaks of Prussia as it was in 1807," said Count
Stadion, "after the defeats of Jena, Eylau, and Friedland. But since
then two years have elapsed, and Prussia has risen again from her
prostration; she has armed secretly, rendered her resources
available, and found sagacious and energetic men, who are at work
silently, but with unflagging zeal, upon the reorganization of the
army, and preparing every thing for the day of vengeance."
"Let us ally ourselves with regenerated Prussia, which is longing
for vengeance!" cried John, ardently; "let us unite with her in the
struggle against our common foe. Prussia and Austria should be
harmonious, and jointly protect Germany."
"No," said the emperor, almost angrily, "Prussia and Austria are
natural enemies; they have been enemies ever since Prussia existed,
for Prussia, instead of contenting herself with her inferior
position, dared to be Austria's rival; and, moreover, Austria can
never forgive her the rapacious conquest of Silesia."
"Oh, your majesty," exclaimed John, impetuously, "let us forget the
past, and fix our eyes on the present and future France is the
common enemy of all Europe; all Europe ought to unite in subduing
her, and we will not even solicit the cooperation of our neighbor!
But an alliance between Austria and Prussia will render all Germany
united, and Germany will then be, as it were, a threatening rock,
and France will shrink from her impregnable bulwarks, and retire
within her natural borders."
"Words, words!" said the emperor, shrugging his shoulders. "You