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Andreas Hofer by Lousia Muhlbach

Part 9 out of 11

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"I think he will not even apply to him for it, your majesty. The
Emperor Napoleon never had his union with the Empress Josephine
consecrated by the Church, and the dissolution of a civil marriage
does not require the pope's consent. The emperor can dissolve it by
virtue of his own authority."

"That is a very convenient arrangement for M. Bonaparte," said
Francis, smiling. "Well, go now, count, and repose. I am very
content with your services, and I think I shall be so hereafter
also. Adieu. I shall send for you again."

He nodded kindly to the count, and stood still smilingly at his
writing-table in the middle of the cabinet, until the door of the
anteroom closed behind Count Bubna. But thereupon his face assumed a
gloomy, bitter expression, and he lifted up his clinched fist with a
menacing gesture.

"My brothers!" he cried, in an angry voice; "always my brothers!
They are always eager to push me aside. I am always to be kept in
the shade, that their light may shine more brightly. Ah, we shall
see who is Emperor of Austria, and to whom the Tyrol belongs; we
shall see who is the master, and who has to obey. As yet I am
emperor, as yet I have to decide on war and peace. And I will
decide. I will humiliate them and compel them to be obedient, these
boastful archdukes, who always preach war and are worsted in every
battle! Oh, they are stirring up rebellion, and stretching out their
hands for my property! But one stroke of my pen will shatter their
crowns, stifle their rebellion, and reduce them to submissiveness. I
will make peace with Napoleon, and the seditious Tyrol shall be
quieted without being bestowed upon the Archduke John. I would
rather have it restored to Bavaria than that it should be conferred
on my brother. That would be a just retribution for the seditious
peasants; they have set a bad example, and should be punished for
it. I do not want any conspirators among my subjects. Let Bavaria
see how she will get along with the rebellious Tyrolese! I shall
withdraw my hand from them. I want peace. I will remain Emperor of
Austria despite all my brothers!"

CHAPTER XXXV.

A DAY OF THE EMPEROR'S LIEUTENANT.

The imperial palace at Innspruck was still the residence of
Sandwirth Andreas Hofer, commander-in-chief of the Tyrol, and
lieutenant of the Emperor Francis. He had lived there since the 15th
of August; but as simply, quietly, and modestly as he had lived when
he was a horse-dealer and innkeeper, so he lived now when he was
ruler of the Tyrol, and the emperor's lieutenant. Instead of
occupying the large state apartments of the imperial palace, as his
friends had often asked him to do, Andreas had selected the plainest
and humblest rooms for his quarters, and his style of living was as
simple and modest as his dwelling-place. Vainly his suite tried to
persuade him to hold levees and receive guests at his festive table.
Andreas rejected all such suggestions with proud and withal humble
indignation.

"Do you think I took this arduous task upon myself to play the
aristocratic gentleman, and revel in luxury?" he replied to those
who asked him to adopt such a course. "I did not become the
emperor's lieutenant to display vain and empty splendor, but to
serve my dear Tyrol and preserve it to the emperor. I am only a
simple peasant, and do not want to live like a prince. I am
accustomed to have bread, butter, and cheese for breakfast, and I do
not know why I should change this now, merely because I am no longer
at home with my dear wife, but here at Innspruck at the emperor's
palace. I am also accustomed to dine very plainly, and am therefore
opposed to any expensive repasts being got up for me here. I do not
like the meats prepared by the cooks of the aristocracy; and while I
do not want anything but bread, butter, cheese, and wine, I shall
send to Niederkircher's tavern for my dinner. But it must never cost
more than half a florin. I will invite guests, for I like to have
merry people about me; but the guests must not come for the sake of
the repast, but for that of our pleasant conversation. I shall send
to Niederkircher for the dinner of all my guests, and he must send
enough, lest any of them should remain hungry. But there must never
be more than six guests, for it would be too bad if I, who intend to
preserve the Tyrol to the emperor, were to cost him a great deal of
money here. In order to prevent mistake, Niederkircher must send in
his bill every morning for me to examine; the financial secretary
shall pay it every week, and send me the receipt." [Footnote: The
expenses of Hofer and his whole suite, during their six weeks'
sojourn in the city of Innspruck, cost the public exchequer only
five hundred florins.]

Andreas Hofer remained in these days of his splendor as active,
industrious, and simple as he always had been. The welfare of his
beloved country engrossed all his thoughts, and he was desirous of
devoting his whole strength to it. He issued a number of useful and
liberal decrees, which, it is true, Ennemoser, Doeninger, Kolb, or
other friends of his had drawn up, but which he had approved and
signed.

Andreas Hofer gave public audiences every morning like a real
prince, and the sentinels placed in front of the imperial palace and
at the door of the commander-in-chief had received stringent orders
not to refuse admittance to the audience-room to any one, but allow
all to come in, how poorly soever they might be dressed. Andreas
listened to every one with kind patience and cordial sympathy, and
always took care to help console the distressed, make peace, and
conciliate; and every one who needed comfort and assistance hastened
to apply to the always helpful commander-in-chief.

To-day again many persons were in the audience-room, waiting
impatiently for the moment when the door should open, and when
Andreas Hofer should make his appearance on the threshold, greet all
with a pleasant nod of his head, and then beckon to him who was
nearest to the door to enter his cabinet.

But the hour fixed for the audience had struck long ago, and the
commander-in-chief, who was usually so punctual and conscientious,
had not yet opened the door of his audience-room. He had already
been half an hour in his cabinet, and Doeninger sat at the desk,
ready to write down the names of all applicants for audience, and
add a brief statement of their wishes and petitions. But Andreas was
still pacing the room, his hands behind his back; and although he
had already laid his hand twice on the door-knob, he had stepped
back as if in terror, and continued striding up and down.

"Commander-in-chief," said Doeninger, after a long pause, during
which he had watched Hofer's irresolute bearing smilingly, "there is
something that disquiets you, is there not?"

"Yes, Cajetan," sighed Andreas. "As you have found it out, I will no
longer deny that there is something that disquiets me."

"And what is it, commander-in-chief? Will you not communicate it to
your faithful and discreet Cajetan?"

"Yes, I will, my dear Cajetan," said Hofer. "I am afraid I did
something very stupid yesterday, and I am ashamed of it."

"Ah, you allude to the lawsuit which you decided yesterday,"
exclaimed Doeninger.

"You see, no sooner did I say that I did something very stupid, than
you at once knew what I meant; what I did must, therefore, have been
very stupid indeed. Yes, I alluded to the lawsuit, Cajetan, for I am
afraid I did not decide it, but made it only more complicated."

"On the whole, there was nothing to be decided," said Doeninger,
dryly. "The lawsuit was already decided; the supreme court had given
judgment in favor of the plaintiff and awarded to him the sum of one
thousand florins, which was at issue, and sentenced the defendant to
pay that sum and the costs. But the defendant--"

"It was no man, Cajetan," interrupted Andreas; "it was a woman, and
that was the worst of it. I cannot bear to see women weep. They know
so well how to touch my heart by their tears and lamentations, that
I long to help them. Lord Jesus, how that woman, the defendant in
the lawsuit, wept! And was it the poor woman's fault, Cajetan, that
her deceased husband was head over ears in debt, that he borrowed
one thousand florins from a friend, and meanly affixed his wife's
name without her knowledge to the note which he gave for it?"

"But that is just the trouble, commander-in-chief; not only did she
know it, but she herself put her name under the note. I myself asked
the judges about it yesterday. They say that the woman is known to
be avaricious, greedy, and mean, and they would not have given
judgment against her if there had not been sworn evidence to the
effect that she herself signed the note. They add that she is rich
enough to pay back the thousand florins which her husband certainly
borrowed from his friend."

"I cannot believe it," exclaimed Andreas. "She wept and lamented so
very unaffectedly; during my whole wedded life I have not seen my
wife weep so much as the woman wept during that quarter of an hour
yesterday; and I think one that can weep so much must be innocent.
Hence, I did what I had a perfect right to do; I wrote to the judges
and reversed their decision."

"Well, commander-in-chief, if you think you were justified in what
you did, why does it disquiet you?"

"It does," said Andreas Hofer, "because I think now that the
plaintiff, who lost his suit, may feel very sore over it, and blame
me for depriving him of what he thought was due to him; and I
shudder to think he maybe in the other room, and intend to reproach
me with ruining him and taking from him what the judges had already
awarded to him."

"And, Andy, because you would not like to see one man, you keep the
others waiting outside."

"You are right, Cajetan. I ought not to do that; I am a selfish,
cowardly fellow," cried Andreas, contritely. "I will no longer keep
them waiting, but admit them at once."

And he went with a hasty step to the door of the audience-room,
threw it open, and stepped upon the threshold. The large room was
crowded with persons of every age and rank; all thronged toward the
door, and every one was desirous of being the first to greet the
commander-in-chief, and to be invited by him into his cabinet.

Andreas Hofer bowed kindly to all; his eyes fell on an old man with
silver-white hair, who was striving to penetrate to him, and cast
beseeching glances on him.

"My old friend," said Andreas, mildly, "it is true you are not
nearest to the door, but you are the oldest person in the room, and
therefore it is right for me to listen to you first. Come in, then,
and tell me what you want of me."

The old man, leaning on his cane, hastened forward and entered the
cabinet, the door of which Andreas Hofer himself closed behind him.

"Now tell me, my aged friend, who are you, and what I can do for
you."

"Much, very much, commander-in-chief," replied the old man, in a
tremulous voice. "You can grant me justice. My name is Friedel
Hofmeier, and I am the unfortunate man who gained his lawsuit
yesterday, and who was to get his thousand florins back, but from
whom you took them again by virtue of your supreme authority."

"Cajetan, it is as I said," sighed Andreas, turning with a doleful
air to Doeninger, who sat at the desk, pen in hand, and bowed to the
commander-in-chief with a shrug.

"I come to you, the emperor's lieutenant, to demand justice," added
the old man. "Your decree was unjust and contrary to law. The judges
had decided in my favor, and by reversing their judgment, you treat
with harshness and cruelty an old man who stands on the brink of the
grave, and deprive my poor grandchild of its whole inheritance."

"May God and the Holy Virgin preserve me from committing such a
crime," murmured Andreas Hofer, crossing himself devoutly. "Ah, my
friend, why did you not come to me ere this, and tell me all about
it? I should have gladly assisted you in recovering what was due to
you."

"And yet it is your fault that I cannot recover what is due to me."
cried the old man, mournfully. "Why should I have come hither ere
this, and robbed you of your precious time? I confided in my good
and just cause; I knew that the good God would not abandon me, and
that He would not take from me, after losing innocently most of my
property by the cruelty of the enemy, who burned down my house and
outbuildings, the last remnant of my little fortune, the thousand
florins which I lent to my friend, and which his rich wife engaged
in her own handwriting to pay back ten years after date. The ten
years had expired; the good God did not abandon me; for He caused
the judges to grant me justice and adjudge the thousand florins to
me."

"And I took them from him again," murmured Andreas Hofer, with tears
in his eyes; "and it is my fault that he will die with a grief-
stricken heart. Cajetan, I have ruined the old man; tell me, advise
me how to make amends for it."

"You reversed the decision of the judges," said Doeninger, slowly;
"you possess the power of reversing all decisions."

Andreas Hofer was silent for a moment, and gazed thoughtfully into
vacancy, as if to fathom the meaning of an obscure oracle; all at
once his face brightened, and a joyous smile played round his lips.

"I know it now, Cajetan," he exclaimed. "I have the power to reverse
all decisions, and therefore my own also."

Cajetan Doeninger nodded with silent satisfaction. The old man
clasped his hands and gazed at Hofer with an expression of ardent
gratitude.

"Will you really do so, Andreas Hofer?" he asked tremblingly. "Will
you reverse your own decree for the sake of justice?"

"Yes, I will," exclaimed Hofer, joyfully; "and I will do it
immediately. Cajetan, take up your pen and write what I am going to
dictate to you. There I now write as follows: 'I, the undersigned,
confess by these presents that I committed a mistake yesterday, and
violated the laws. To confess mistakes and avow faults is no
disgrace; hence, I do so now, and beg pardon of the good God and the
judges for doing wrong. I hereby reverse the decision which I made
yesterday. Friedel Hofmeier is to receive the thousand florins which
the supreme court adjudged to him, and the decision of the judges is
to be valid, notwithstanding my decree issued yesterday.' Now give
me the pen and let me sign the document."

"Oh, dear commander-in-chief," exclaimed the delighted old man,
"what a noble and kind-hearted man you are, and--"

"Hush!" interrupted Andreas, looking up from the paper; "if I make a
mistake now, the whole document will be invalid, and we must
commence anew. Now I tell you it is hard work to write one's name
with such a pointed pen on the paper, and my name, moreover, has
such a long-tailed title. Therefore, keep quiet and let me write.
There, it is done now--'Andreas Hofer, commander-in-chief of the
Tyrol.' Now, my dear old friend, your document is valid. Take it to
the city hall, and permit me to congratulate you on having recovered
your thousand florins. Say nothing about it now, but hasten to the
city hall. There are outside a great many persons who wish to see
me."

He handed the paper to the old man, and conducted him to the door,
which he himself opened for him. He was about to follow him, when he
suddenly drew back and closed the door after him.

"Cajetan," he whispered, anxiously, "I saw something dreadful!"

"What was it, commander-in-chief?"

"Cajetan, I saw the woman whom Friedel Hofmeier sued, and to whom I
gave the decree yesterday. Cajetan, I was not afraid when we were on
Mount Isel and at Brixen, but I am afraid of that woman and her
dreadful lamentations. I do not know what to do, Doeninger, if she
should have found out what I have done, and come in here to reproach
me with it."

"We shall not admit her, commander-in-chief," said Doeninger,
laughing.

"But, Cajetan, I made a vow never to refuse admittance to any one,
and not, as many princes do, to allow distressed persons to wait in
my anteroom and send them away without listening to them and
comforting them."

"But you heard, Andreas, that the woman is not in distress, for she
is rich and very avaricious. She told you the most impudent
falsehoods; hence, she must not be admitted; for, if you allow her
to come in again, she would lie as she did yesterday."

"You are right, Cajetan, she must not come in; and now, my friend,
pray go and admit the next applicant, but not that bad woman."

Doeninger went to the door, and, opening it, beckoned to the person
standing nearest to it.

A young woman, dressed plainly, but very neatly, came in, and
remained at the door, in visible confusion and grief.

"Well, madame," said Andreas to her, "do you come to tell me that
all is right, and that your husband and you, his pretty young wife,
live together in happiness and content? Well, it was heavy work to
reconcile you two, and persuade you to remain together and love each
other, as it behooves a Christian couple. It cost me a whole
forenoon, but I do not regret it, for I accomplished my task, and
reconciled you, and all was right again between you. And I made you
promise to return in two weeks and tell me how you got along with
each other. The two weeks are up to-day, and here comes the pretty
young wife to tell me that Andreas Hofer did his work well, and that
her husband is now faithful, tender, and good. Is he not?"

"Alas, he is not!" sobbed the young wife, bursting into tears.
"Tony, my husband, never stays at home in the evening; he returns
only late at night, scolds me for weeping and upbraiding him with
his bad conduct, and yesterday--yesterday he wanted even to beat
me!"

"What a bad man!" cried Andreas, vehemently. "Why did he want to
beat you, then? What had you done?"

"I had locked the street-door, and would not let him have the key
when he wanted to leave the house."

"H'em! that was a little too severe," said Hofer, hesitatingly. "Why
should a young man be prevented from going out a little? He cannot
always stay at home."

"But he shall not go out without me, and he would not take me with
him. I had requested him to do so, and he had refused; therefore, I
locked the house and would not permit him to leave it. He shall not
go out without me, for he is such a fine-looking man, that all the
pretty women of Innspruck admire him in his handsome national dress,
and ogle him when he passes by."

"Well, let them admire and ogle him," exclaimed Andreas, smiling.
"What do you care for it, provided your husband does not ogle them?"

"But he does, commander-in-chief; he runs after the pretty women, he
goes to the theatre and the concerts to see them, and speak and
flirt with them. Believe me, dearest commander-in-chief, he deserts
me, he is faithless, and all your fine and pious exhortations were
in vain. He loves me no longer, and I love him so dearly, and would
like to be always with him and never desert him. But he says it
would be inconvenient to him, and make him ridiculous, if he should
always appear together with his wife, like a convict with his
jailer."

"What a bad, hard-hearted man!" cried Andreas, indignantly.

"He is hard-hearted, indeed," sobbed the young wife. "He scolds me
for my love, and when I like to be with him all the time, he says my
jealousy is disagreeable to him, and there is nothing more
abominable than a jealous wife!"

"Well, he may be right so far as that is concerned," said Doeninger,
busily engaged in cutting his pen.

"What did you say, Cajetan?" asked Hofer, turning to him.

"I did not say anything, but thought aloud," said Doeninger, trying
his pen.

Hofer was silent for a moment, and gazed into vacancy. "Yes, my dear
woman," he then said boldly, "your husband may not be altogether
wrong in complaining of your jealousy. I really believe that you are
a little jealous, and beg you to try to overcome your jealousy; for
jealousy is a grievous fault, and makes many husbands very
wretched."

"But must I not be jealous?" she cried, vehemently, weeping
bitterly. "Do I not see that the women are trying to seduce him and
make him desert me? Do I not see him at the theatre gazing at the
finely-dressed ladies and admiring their bare arms and shoulders?"

"What!" exclaimed Hofer. "Is it true, then, that the women here
appear in public with bare arms and shoulders?"

"Yes, sir, it is," sobbed the young wife. "You can see it
everywhere; it is the new fashion which the French brought here; the
women wear low-necked dresses with very short sleeves, so that their
shoulders and arms are entirely bare. All the aristocratic ladies of
Innspruck have already adopted this new fashion; and on seeing them
in their boxes at the theatre, you would believe they were in a
bath, precisely as the good God created them. And it is owing only
to these bare arms and shoulders that my dear husband deserts me and
loves me no longer. The aristocratic ladies, with their naked charms
have seduced him; and just think of it, he wants me to adopt the new
fashion too, and go as naked as the other women!"

"You must not do it," said Hofer in dismay; "it is a shameless,
unchristian fashion, and no decent woman should adopt it. This is
not the first complaint that I have heard in regard to the indecent
dress of the women here. Some of my neighbors were at the theatre
yesterday, and were indignant at the indecent appearance of the
women there; they told me the women sat there dressed in the highest
fashion, their busts entirely bare and not covered with a
handkerchief such as every decent woman in the Passeyr valley wears,
and their arms adorned with all sorts of golden trinkets such as we
see only on those of strolling players who perform in barns. But I
will put an end to it; I will preserve the good and virtuous men
from seduction, and will not suffer vice to dress up, and
shamelessness to stalk by the side of decency. Just wait, my dear
woman; I will protect your husband and all other good men from the
seductive wiles of frivolous women, and issue a decree which will
tell all the beautiful women how to behave. Sit down there and
listen to the decree which I shall dictate to Cajetan Doeninger.
Cajetan, take a large sheet of stamped paper and write what I shall
dictate to you."

And pacing the room. and slowly stroking his fine black beard with
his right hand, Andreas Hofer dictated as follows:

"Every one will perceive that we have good reason to thank the kind
and almighty God for helping us so signally to deliver the
fatherland from a powerful and cruel enemy; and every one will
desire that we should henceforth remain free from this scourge, with
which the Lord, as He punished His chosen people often in the Old
and New Testament, visited and chastised our fatherland, that we
might turn to Him and mend our ways. We will, therefore, turn to God
with heartfelt thanks for his great mercy, and with the sincere
purpose of improving our morals, and pray Him to protect us from
further persecution. We must try to gain His paternal love by a
devout, chaste, and virtuous life, and discard hatred, envy,
covetousness, and all vices, obey our superiors, lend as much
assistance as possible to our fellow-citizens, and avoid everything
that might give offence to God and man. Now, many of my excellent
comrades and defenders of the country have been scandalized at the
neglect of many women to cover their arms and breasts, whereby they
give rise to sinful desires which must be highly offensive to God
and all good Christians. It is to be hoped that they will repent,
lest God should punish them; but if they do not, it will be their
own fault if they should be covered with mire in an unpleasant
manner." [Footnote: See "Gallery of Heroes: Andreas Hofer," p. 135;
and Hormayr's "Hofer," vol. ii., p. 445.]

"Shall I really write that?" asked Doeninger, looking up from his
paper.

"Yes, you shall; and you shall not omit a word of it," exclaimed
Andreas Hofer. "Give me the paper, Cajetan; I want to see if you
have not scratched out the last words. No, there it is: 'But if they
do not, it will be their own fault if they should be covered with
mire in an unpleasant manner.' That is right--now give me the pen,
Cajetan, that I may sign the document. Then seal it up and send it
to the Official Journal and the Gazette; they are to publish it at
once, that all the women of Innspruck may read it to-morrow and know
what to do. Now, my dear woman, I hope you will have some rest, and
need not be afraid of the seductive wiles of those ladies. Go home,
then; and if you will permit me to give you good advice, be very
gentle and kind toward your husband; and for God's sake do not
torment him with jealousy, for that is a bitter herb which even the
best husband cannot digest, and which renders him morose and angry.
Go, then, with God's blessing, and come back a week hence, and tell
me whether my decree has been effectual, and whether your husband
goes any longer to the theatre and ogles the women there."

"May God and the Holy Virgin have mercy on us!" sighed the woman,
going to the door; "for I shall not bear it if my dear husband ogles
other women, and something dreadful will happen if he does not mend
his ways."

"God be praised!" said Doeninger, with a deep sigh, when the woman
had left the room.

"Why do you say 'God be praised'?" asked Andreas, in surprise.

"God be praised that I am not the husband of this jealous woman. She
will torment her husband to death, and leave him not a moment's
repose before be dies."

"It is true, she does not seem to be very gentle," said Andreas,
smiling. "But then, Cajetan, she loves her husband dearly, is
doubtless a virtuous woman, and will never sin against the seventh
commandment. Well, my friend, do not grumble so much, but go and
admit another person."

CHAPTER XXXVI.

THE LOVERS.

Doeninger went to the door and opened it, and a beautiful young girl
slipped immediately into the room. "Hush, hush," she whispered to
Doeninger; "do not say anything to him." And she hastened on tiptoe
to Andreas Hofer, who was reading once more with close attention the
proclamation which he had dictated to Doeninger.

She bent down and kissed the hand in which Hofer held the paper.
"God bless you, dear, great father and liberator of the people!" she
said, in a silver voice.

"Lizzie Wallner!" exclaimed Andreas, joyfully, casting aside the
paper. "Yes, by the Eternal, it is she! It is Lizzie, the dearest
child of my best friend--the most heroic girl in the Tyrol. Come,
Lizzie, embrace your second father, Andy, and give me a kiss for
father and mother, and one for yourself, my dear girl."

Eliza encircled Hofer's neck, and imprinted a tender kiss on his
lips. "God bless you, dear father, for you are the father of the
whole Tyrol," she whispered, "and must not scold me for calling you
my father too."

"On the contrary, it gladdens my heart," exclaimed Andreas, folding
her tenderly to his breast. "It seems to me as though I were holding
one of my own girls in my arms, and as though I heard her dear voice
calling me father. Lizzie, I can tell you I often long for my pretty
daughters and their mother, Anna Gertrude, and sometimes I feel very
lonely indeed."

"And why do you not send for your wife and children, father Andy,
and have them brought here? I am sure there is room enough for them
in this large house."

" No, they shall stay at home," exclaimed Andreas, vehemently. "The
mother must attend to household affairs, and keep every thing in
good order, and the girls must help her do it. Otherwise all would
go amiss, and when I should have no longer to work for the emperor
here, and went back to my home, the inn in the Passeyr valley would
be worthless; we should be destitute, and become beggars. Besides, I
do not want my girls to become proud, and think they are
aristocratic young ladies now, because their father is commander-in-
chief of the Tyrol, and the emperor's lieutenant. We are peasants,
and will remain peasants. However, let us speak no more of myself,
but of you, Lizzie. Where do you come from, what do you want here,
and how did you get into the midst of the crowd in the audience-
room?"

"I came to see you, father Andreas. I asked the sentinel in the
passage outside where I would find you, as I had to see you on
important business. The sentinel told me to enter the audience-room.
It was already crowded with persons who wished to see you, and who
told me that one was admitted to you after another; but, on hearing
that I had come all the way from Windisch-Matrey, and had walked two
days and two nights without intermission, they took pity on me, and
would not let me wait until my turn came, but allowed me to advance
close to the door, so as to be the first to enter your room."

"The people of Innspruck are very kind-hearted indeed," exclaimed
Andreas, joyously. "Then you have come all the way from Windisch-
Matrey, Lizzie? And where is your father?"

"He and his sharpshooters joined Joachim Haspinger and Joseph
Speckbacher, and the united forces of the three commanders marched
against the Bavarians. Father and his seven hundred sharpshooters
expelled the Bavarians from the Unken valley, and is now encamped
near Berchtesgaden and Reichenhall. Speckbacher is stationed at
Neuhauser and Schwarzbach, and Haspinger is still at Werfen. They
are going to reunite their forces and advance against the Bavarians,
in order, if possible, to drive them from the pass of Lueg, which
the enemy has occupied with a large force."

"And you are not with your father, Lizzie, nor with your friend the
Capuchin, who speaks of you only as a heroine? You no longer carry
the wounded out of the thickest of the fight, to dress their wounds
and nurse them?"

"I have another duty to fulfil now, and my father has permitted me
to come to you in regard to it, dear father Andreas Hofer. I am in
great distress, and you alone, dear, all-powerful commander-in-chief
of the Tyrol, are able to help me."

"Tell me quick, Lizzie, what can I do for you ?" asked Andreas,
eagerly. "I owe you yet a reward for your heroic deed on the day of
the hay-wagons, and I should like to discharge this debt of the
fatherland. Tell me, therefore, dear girl what can I do for you?"

"You can restore to me the dearest friend I have on earth," said
Eliza, beseechingly. "You can deliver a patriotic girl from Bavarian
captivity, and an excellent nobleman, who has done no other wrong
than that he possesses a loyal Tyrolese heart, from grief and
despair."

"I will do so with all my heart," exclaimed Andreas; "only tell me,
Lizzie, whom you refer to."

"I refer to Baron von Hohenberg, who lived at the castle of
Windisch-Matrey, and his daughter, my dear and only friend Elza. The
old baron was always a very pious and affable gentleman, a
benefactor and father of the poor; and not a poor man, not a woman
in distress applied to him, but whom he willingly relieved and
assisted. He lived for twenty years in the Tyrol, at his castle at
Windisch-Matrey, and became in this manner an ardent son of the
Tyrol, although he is a native of Bavaria, and his whole
aristocratic family lives in Munich. His daughter Elza is my dearest
friend; we grew up together, and I am so fond of her that I would
readily give up my heart's blood for her. Now, think of it, dear
Andy! the Bavarians, on returning to the Tyrol two months ago, made
the two prisoners, the dear old baron and my Elza, and carried them
as hostages to Munich; they charged them there with high-treason,
because they stood faithfully by the Tyrol, and because, at the very
outset of the insurrection, the Bavarian soldiers and their captain
were surrounded at their castle and compelled to lay down their
arms."

"Yes, yes, I know the story," exclaimed Andreas, gayly; "it was an
heroic deed by which Anthony Wallner inaugurated our glorious war of
liberation. And now the mean Bavarians call the good Baron von
Hohenberg a traitor, when he was quite innocent of the whole affair,
and was not even at home when it took place. They say he left his
castle at the time in order not to prevent the Tyrolese from
capturing the Bavarians, and that he was aware of the plans of the
Tyrolese, and should have warned the Bavarians. But I say that he
acted like a good patriot, and they ought neither to charge him with
treason nor imprison him and his daughter."

"Ah, and both long so intensely to return to their dear Tyrol and
their castle! Elza wrote me a letter which I received a week ago,
and tears had blotted out half of its contents. Both feel so
wretched in the large city of Munich; their aristocratic relatives
upbraid them constantly for their hostility to the Bavarians; the
confinement and prison-air have already made the old baron quite
sick, and Elza thinks he will surely die of grief if he is not soon
released and allowed to go home. Therefore, I implore you, dear,
all-powerful commander-in-chief of the Tyrol, save the old baron's
life, restore my Elza to me, and release them both from their
captivity. This is what I came for, father Andy; and if you think
that I have ever done any thing for the fatherland that deserves
thanks and a reward, thank and reward me by releasing Elza and her
father from their captivity and allowing them to return to their
home."

"I will do all I can," exclaimed Andreas, profoundly moved; "and the
good God sent you to me to-day, for to-day I can help you.--Can I
not, Doeninger?"

"You refer to the Bavarian officer whom you are going to send to
Munich?" asked Doeninger.

"Yes, the Bavarian officer is to procure their release," exclaimed
Andreas. "Look at the fortunate coincidence, Lizzie! Among the
prisoners we took on Mount Isel was a Bavarian captain, a sensible,
excellent man, who, it seems to me, sympathizes cordially with the
cause of the Tyrolese. We resolved to release him on parole and send
him to Munich, where he was to negotiate an exchange of prisoners,
and maybe bring about an amicable understanding between us and the
King of Bavaria. The Bavarian captain--I believe his name is Ulrich-
-"

"Ulrich?" asked Eliza, trembling, and blushing deeply.

"I believe that is his name," said Hofer, quietly; "his other name I
have forgotten; we call him only Captain Ulrich, as you call me
Andreas. Well, Captain Ulrich has already received his instructions
and the list of prisoners whose release he is to advocate. It will
only remain for us to add Hohenberg's name to the list, and you
yourself, my Lizzie, shall urge Captain Ulrich to restore to you the
old baron and your friend Elza.--Pray, dearest Cajetan, go and fetch
the captain; he was to set out in an hour, and he must, therefore,
be here yet."

"He is certainly here yet, for there are his papers, which I
intended to take to him, and without which he cannot depart," said
Doeninger. "And here is the list of the prisoners whose release he
is to procure."

"Add to it the names of the old baron and his daughter, Cajetan, and
state that their release is urgently desired."

"But for whom are they to be exchanged?"

"Yes, yes, for whom? Well, for Captain Ulrich himself. If he
procures their release, and returns hither, as he solemnly swore be
would, with the reply of the Bavarian government, and, perhaps,
brings the old baron and his daughter with him, he shall be free and
at liberty to go wherever he pleases. Go, Cajetan, say that to the
captain, and give him the papers, and repeat to him once more all
that he is to do. And you, Lizzie, will you not send by him a note
to your friend? But it is true, you have not yet written a letter to
her. It is better for you to tell him what he is to say in your name
to your friend.--Go, therefore, Cajetan, take the papers to the
captain, and conduct him to Lizzie. But do not bring him in here,
for there are in the anteroom still a great many persons whom I must
see before I can converse further with you. Take him, therefore,
into the other room; and when he is there, return to me, Cajetan.
Lizzie may then go in there and see the captain; and we shall speak
with the poor people in the audience-room who have had to wait
already so long to-day.--But I shall not let you go again, my
Lizzie," added Hofer, after Doeninger had left the room; "no, I
shall not let you go again. You must stay with me at the palace
here, and be my dear little daughter until the captain returns from
his mission, and until you know if he brings your friend and her
father along with him. Will you do so, Lizzie?"

"I will, dear father Andreas; I will stay with you until then, and
take care of you as a good daughter, until my dear Elza, if it
please God, returns, when I will go back with her to Windisch-
Matrey."

At this moment Doeninger re-entered the room. "The captain is in the
room yonder," he said, pointing to a side-door; "he awaits you, and
will set out after seeing you. The carriage is already at the door.
Go, therefore, Eliza Wallner."

"I am going already," said Eliza. She nodded to Andreas with a sweet
smile and opened the door of the adjoining room, while Doeninger
admitted another person from the audience-room into Hofer's cabinet.

The room which Eliza entered was one of the large state apartments
of the palace, which Andreas did not occupy, and which he used only
on rare occasions. It was a wide room with heavy silken hangings on
the walls; curtains of the same description covered the windows, so
that only a dim twilight reigned in the large apartment. Magnificent
gilt furniture lined the walls; between the windows stood large
Venetian mirrors in broad carved golden frames, and gorgeous lustres
of rock-crystal were suspended from the ceiling.

Was it the splendor and magnificence surrounding her all at once
that rendered Eliza so timid and anxious? She leaned for a moment in
great embarrassment against the door, as if she could not venture to
advance on the glittering floor. Her large, bright eyes glanced
uneasily around the great room, and now she saw in the window-niche
yonder the tall form of a gentleman; his head was averted from her,
and he seemed to be looking eagerly out of the window.

"I do not know him; surely, I do not know him," said Eliza to
herself. "It is foolish in me to think so; be strong, therefore, my
heart, strong and calm, and do not throb so very impetuously!"

And overcoming her bashfulness with a courageous effort, she
advanced toward the officer, who was still turning his back upon
her.

Now she was close behind him, and said in a low, bashful voice:
"Captain, I--"

He turned quickly, and gazed at her with eyes radiant with joy and
intense love.

Eliza uttered a cry; she raised her hands involuntarily, made a step
forward, and lay in his arms before knowing it; she felt his burning
kisses on her lips, in her heart, and thought and knew nothing but--
"It is he! It is he! I see him again! He still loves me!"

"See, dearest Eliza," whispered Ulrich, drawing her close to his
heart, "I had to act thus in order to elicit your heavenly secret
from you. I knew it was you who wished to see me; I wanted to take
you by surprise, and I succeeded. Your surprise betrayed what the
timid and chaste lips of my Eliza would not confess to me. Yes, you
love me! Oh, deny it no longer, for your heart betrayed you when you
recognized me, and when joy illuminated your face like a bright ray
of sunshine. Now you are mine, Eliza, and nothing on earth must or
shall separate us any longer. No, do not try to disengage yourself
from my arms, my beautiful, sweet, affianced bride! I shall not
leave you; even though the whole world should come to take you from
me, I should not leave you--no, not for the whole world and all its
treasures!"

"The whole world will not come," said Eliza, disengaging herself
gently from his arms; "the world does not concern itself in the
affairs of a poor peasant-girl like me. But I myself intend to leave
you, sir; you must let me go, that we may converse in a sensible
manner, as it behooves two decent young persons. Take your arms
away, Captain von Hohenberg; it is not right in you to embrace me
here while we are all alone. You would certainly be ashamed of it if
any one should see you folding the peasant-girl to your heart."

"No, Eliza, I would not; I should fold you only the more tenderly to
my heart, and exclaim proudly in the face of the whole world: 'Eliza
Wallner, the peasant-girl, is my affianced bride; I love and adore
her as the most faithful, noble, and generous heart; she is to
become my wife, and I will love and cherish her all my life!'"

"And if you said so, the world would laugh at you; but your parents
and my dear Elza would weep for you. Now, my Elza shall never weep
on my account, and never shall your aristocratic parents be obliged
to blush for the daughter-in-law whom you bring into their house. As
a daughter-in-law I can never be welcome to them; hence, they could
never be welcome to me as parents-in-law."

"Oh, Eliza, your beauty, your angelic purity and goodness would
surmount their resistance, for no heart is able to withstand you;
and when my parents are once acquainted with you, when they have
submitted to stern necessity, they will soon love you, and fold you
as a daughter to their hearts."

"But first they would have to submit to stern necessity, and I
should have to be forced upon them, that they might afterward learn
to love me. Much obliged to you, sir; I am only a peasant-girl, but
I have my pride too, and will never allow myself to be forced upon a
family, but will only take a husband whose parents would come to
meet me affectionately, and give me, their blessing on the threshold
of my new home. And now let us drop the subject, and tell me what
has happened to you during our separation."

"You see, Eliza, what has happened to me," said Ulrich, mournfully.
"After your divine magnanimity had set me free, I succeeded in
passing through the insurgent country to the Bavarian lines and re-
entered the service. We fought and suffered a great deal, and at
length, on the 14th of August, I was made prisoner by the Tyrolese
at the battle of Mount Isel and taken to Innspruck. However, they do
not know my real name here, for I did not want the news of my
captivity to reach my parents; I preferred that they should lament
me as killed in battle, rather than as a prisoner in the hands of
the insurgents. But fate decreed that it should be otherwise; I am
no longer to be allowed to keep my mournful incognito; I am to
repair to Munich to negotiate there an exchange of the prisoners for
the hostages whom our troops carried off."

"Your uncle and my Elza are among the hostages," exclaimed Eliza.
"Oh, sir, if you really think that you are under obligations to me,
if you have not forgotten that I saved your life, pray procure the
release of your dear old uncle, and bring him back hither; for he
has indeed a hard time of it in Munich, where they charge him with
treason, and where even his own relatives inveigh bitterly against
him. This gnaws at his heart, and, unless released speedily, he will
die of grief."

"I did not know that so sad a fate had befallen him," said Ulrich,
gently; "Doeninger was the first to tell me of it, on bringing me
the papers, and conducting me hither. But, I confess, in my intense
joy on meeting you, my dear, sweet Eliza, my ungrateful heart had
forgotten my old uncle, who gave me so many proofs of his love and
kindness, and treated me for months as a son at his house. I will
try to reward his love by availing myself of my influential
connections and my whole eloquence to bring about his release; I
will go myself to the king to intercede in his behalf."

"But you must bring my Elza with you too, sir," exclaimed Eliza.
"Oh, I implore you, by all that is sacred and dear to you--"

"Then implore me by your name, by your sweet face," he interrupted
her, enthusiastically.

"I implore you from the bottom of my heart," she continued, without
taking any notice of his words, "bring my Elza back to me. She is
the better half of my soul; we grew up together, we shared all joys
and afflictions, and have sworn to shed our heart's blood and die
for each other, if need be, and to stand by each other in faithful
friendship to the last day of our lives. Now, I am only half alive
when my Elza is not with me. Therefore, dear Ulrich, restore my Elza
to me, and I will thank you, and bless you, and love you as a
brother."

"As a brother!" he cried mournfully. "But I do not want you to love
me as a brother. I want your heart, your whole heart, Eliza; and it
is mine in spite of you--mine! But you are vindictive, and cannot
forget and forgive; and because I denied and misunderstood you once
in my blind stubbornness, you wish to wreak vengeance on me, drive
me to despair, and make me unhappy for my whole life!"

"I!" she exclaimed, mournfully; "I wish to make you unhappy?"

"Yes, you," he said bitterly; "you see my sufferings, and gloat over
them; you feel that I love you boundlessly, and with cold, sneering
pride you try to resent my former contemptible haughtiness. You
oppose your peasant pride to my insensate aristocratic pride; you
want to make me go mad or die heart-broken, and your coolness never
leaves you for a moment, and my grief makes no impression on you;
for, when I am dead, you will be able to exclaim: 'I fought for my
country as a brave daughter of the Tyrol! I killed a Bavarian, I
broke his heart laughingly!'"

"You lie, I shall never say so!" cried Eliza, in an outburst of
generous indignation; "you lie if you think me capable of so
miserable a revenge; you lie if you believe that I have a cold and
cruel heart. I wish I had, for then I should not suffer what I am
suffering now, and I should at least be able to forget you. You
really charge me with having a cold heart, with hating and despising
you? Do you not see, do you not even suspect what I am suffering for
your sake? Look at me, then; see how pale my cheeks are; see how dim
my eyes are! I do not take any notice of it, I do not look at myself
in the mirror--why should I, and for whom?--but mother tells me so
every day, and weeps for me. And why am I so pale and thin, and why
are my eyes so dim? Because my heart is full of grief; because I
have no rest day or night; because there is in my heart a voice
which I can never silence, not even when I am praying or kneeling in
the confessional. Do you think I am grieving for the sake of the
country or the bloody war? What does the country concern me? I think
no longer of it, and yet every battle makes me tremble; and on
nearing the booming of artillery, I kneel down and pray with tears
of anguish to the Holy Virgin. Oh, may God forgive me! I do not pray
for my father, nor for our soldiers; I pray for a Bavarian, I pray
for you!"

"Eliza!" exclaimed Ulrich, radiant with joy, and stretching out his
arms toward her, "Eliza!"

"Hush!" she said, stepping back proudly, "do not speak. I have told
you the truth, for I do not want you to accuse and curse me, when I
am blessing you every day. But now go, sir; forget what I have said,
but remember me always as one who never hated you, and never thought
of revenging herself upon you."

"Eliza," said Ulrich, gravely, taking her hand, and gazing deeply
into her eyes, "let us now be honest and frank toward each other.
Our hearts have spoken with each other, and God has heard them. You
love me, and I love you. Do you remember what I said to you; when
taking leave of you on the mountain?"

"I do not, sir," she whispered, dropping her eyes.

"But I do," he continued, gravely and firmly. "I said to you: 'I
will go now, but I shall return and ask you: "Do you remember me?
Will you become my wife?'" Now, Eliza, I have returned, and ask you
as I asked you on the mountain, Eliza, will you become my wife?"

"And I reply as I replied to you on the mountain," she said
solemnly. "We can never belong to each other as husband and wife,
but we can remember each other as good friends. And so, sir, I will
always remember you, and it will always gladden my heart to hear
that you are well and happy."

"Is that your last word?" asked Ulrich, angrily.

"Yes, sir, it is my last word."

"Then you are intent on making us unhappy?" he cried, mournfully.
"Oh, you crystal-heart, so transparent and clear, so hard, so hard!
Will you never, then, allow yourself to be softened by the sunbeams
of love? Will they always only harden your heart?"

"I cannot act otherwise, sir, I assure you I cannot," she said,
beseechingly.

"Well, then, I cannot act otherwise either," he cried. "I shall not
accept this mission, I shall not go to Munich, I shall stay here."

"No, no, I implore you to go!" exclaimed Eliza. "Save my imprisoned
countrymen; save, above all, my Elza and her father! Oh, she is
unhappy, she longs for her home; she is weeping for me, for you,
sir! Make haste, make haste; have mercy upon Elza and myself!"

"Why should I have mercy when you have none?" he asked, quickly.
"Let the prisoners die of grief; I am a prisoner too, and shall know
also how to die. I shall not leave Innspruck unless you promise me
that you will become my wife on my return, and plight me your faith
before the altar of God. I swear by all that is sacred to me, I will
not leave this city unless I take with me your solemn pledge that
you will overcome your pride and become my wife."

"Well, then," she said, blushing deeply, "go, then. Procure my
Elza's release, bring her home, and then--"

"And then?" he asked, as she hesitated.

"Then you shall receive at the hands of the priest a bride who loves
you, loves you with infinite tenderness," she said, in a low voice.

He uttered a cry of joy, and folded her to his heart. But she
disengaged herself gently. "Make haste now," she said; "for the
sooner yon depart, the sooner you will return."

"I will set out immediately," he cried, radiant with joy. "But swear
to me, Eliza, that I shall receive, immediately on my return, even
though it should be early in the morning, at the hands of the
priest, my bride--the bride who loves me with infinite tenderness."

"I swear by the Holy Virgin," said Eliza, solemnly, "that if you
bring my Elza to me here, you shall receive your bride at the hands
of the priest on the day of your return, whether it be early in the
morning or late at night."

"Captain Ulrich," shouted Cajetan Doeninger, opening the door, "it
is high time for you to set out. The carriage has been at the door
for upward of an hour."

"I am ready," said Ulrich, holding out his hand to Eliza with a
happy smile. "Farewell, Eliza; I shall return with your Elza in two
weeks."

CHAPTER XXXVII.

ELZA's RETURN.

A splendid festival was being celebrated at Innspruck on the 3d of
October, and there were great rejoicings in the city. A message of
love and joy had reached Innspruck from the headquarters of the
Emperor Francis at Totis. Three of the former leaders of the
Tyrolese insurrection, who had escaped to Austria at the time of the
second invasion of the Bavarians--Sieberer, Frischmann, and
Eisenstecken--had arrived at Innspruck as couriers of the emperor.
They had succeeded in passing through Styria and Carinthia, although
both these provinces were occupied by French troops, and had safely
arrived at Innspruck amid the jubilant acclamations of the
population. They brought cheering news from the Emperor Francis. He
sent to the commander-in-chief of the Tyrol, his beloved and
faithful Andreas Hofer, a large gold chain and medal containing the
emperor's portrait; and he sent also three thousand florins as a
gift to the brave sharpshooters. But better than all this was an
autograph letter from the emperor, who extolled in it the bravery of
the Tyrolese, called upon them to persevere in their resistance, and
promised that Austria would succor them vigorously with money and
troops. The letter stated that the emperor would soon dispatch Baron
von Reschmann with funds and full instructions to the Tyrol, where
he would act as commissioner and intendant of the army, and that the
Tyrolese might confidently look for the speedy resumption of
hostilities.

These joyful tidings were received with unbounded enthusiasm, and
Andreas Hofer's face beamed with delight when he was formally
invested with the gold medal and chain in the great church of
Innspruck, at the foot of the tomb of Maximilian, by the Abbot of
Wiltau, amid the tears and acclamations of a vast concourse of
spectators, who afterward, preceded by the municipal authorities,
accompanied him in solemn procession to the imperial palace. Andreas
presented a splendid appearance in the fine gold-embroidered uniform
which he wore to-day in honor of the celebration, in place of his
Tyrolese costume; his heavy gold chain and the medal with the
emperor's portrait, glittered under his fine black beard on his
breast, and he wore a black hat with a plume and inscription to him
as the commander-in-chief of the Tyrol, the gift of the holy
sisterhood of Innspruck.

Andreas Hofer's face shone with happiness as he walked along in this
manner amid the acclamations of the whole population and the ringing
of all the bells; but his heart was nevertheless full of humility,
and lifting his beaming eyes to heaven, he murmured to himself, "O
my Lord and God, Thou hast accomplished every thing; Thou hast
protected us and vouchsafed us victory! Glory to Thee alone!
Preserve me. O Lord, from pride and arrogance, and let me recognize
always that I am nothing but Thy unworthy servant, and that Thou
alone vouchsafest us victory and blessest our cause!"

The imperial palace was festively decorated to-day, and a splendid
banquet was to take place there in honor of the celebration. All the
functionaries of Innspruck had been invited; a brilliant ball was to
be given at night in the large throne-hall, and the beautiful girls
of Innspruck were to dance to the inspiring notes of the orchestra
in honor of the festive day. For the first time Andreas Hofer had
permitted music and dancing, and all the beautiful girls of
Innspruck were preparing to take part in the brilliant festival and
enjoy the rare amusement.

All faces were radiant; even Eliza's sweet countenance was lit up
to-day with the sunshine of happiness. A great joy had fallen to her
share to-day, for Ulrich von Hohenberg had arrived early in the
morning, and with him his uncle, old Baron von Hohenberg, and his
daughter Elza. Ulrich bad redeemed his promise; precisely two weeks
had elapsed since his departure, and now, after these terrible days
of suspense, which Eliza had passed in tears, in silence, and at the
same time in mysterious activity, Ulrich had returned, and with him
Elza, Eliza's dearest friend.

Ulrich had looked on with an expression of quiet happiness when
Eliza embraced her Elza, again and again with tears of joy; she
knelt down repeatedly by the side of the couch on which had been
laid the old baron, whose strength had been utterly exhausted by the
journey, the excitement, and the sufferings he had endured in
prison; she pressed his hands to her lips tenderly, and withal
humbly, and thanked God that her good old friend and her Elza, the
better half of her life, bad been restored to her.

But after this impetuous and joyous meeting, the old baron felt so
very feeble that he urgently needed repose and silence, and Elza had
to conduct him to the bedroom which had been prepared for him.

Eliza and Ulrich were alone now. She trembled, and, wishing to avoid
this tete-a-tete, glided softly to the door; but Ulrich hastened
after her and seized her hand.

"Eliza," he said, solemnly, "I have fulfilled all your wishes. I
have brought back with me my uncle and your friend Elza; the King of
Bavaria accepted the exchange which I offered; he released the baron
and his daughter, and Andreas Hofer sets me free in his turn. I am,
therefore, no longer a prisoner, and as a free man I ask you now, do
you remember the oath you swore to me on the day of my departure?"

"I do," she whispered in a low voice.

"Repeat the oath to me," he said, imperatively.

"My oath was as follows: 'I swear by the Holy Virgin that, if you
bring my Elza to me here, you shall receive your bride, who loves
you with infinite tenderness, at the hands of the priest.'"

"You have not forgotten the words, Eliza. But will you fulfil them
now?"

"You insist on it?" she asked, looking up to him timidly and
mournfully.

"Yes, I do," he said, with a blissful smile.

"Well, then," she whispered, almost inaudibly, "I shall keep my
oath."

He uttered a joyous cry, pressed her hand to his lips, and gazed
with an expression of infinite tenderness into her blushing,
quivering face.

"Oh, do not tremble, love," he said; "do not look anxiously into the
future. I shall know how to protect my wife from grief and
humiliation. To make you happy shall be my sweetest joy; to see you
honored and recognized by society will be my incessant effort, as it
will be my bounden duty. You will fulfil your oath, and you must do
it this very day. Let me go, then, and get a priest; and you, my
sweet girl, place a myrtle-wreath on your head, for I shall call for
you soon and conduct you triumphantly to the great church of
Innspruck; for our marriage shall take place publicly and in the
face of the whole population."

"No, sir," she said, shaking her head gently. "I will redeem my
promise, but I beg, nay, I implore you, permit me to make all
necessary arrangements, and let me have for once my own way."

"And what do you wish, then, beloved?"

"I wish that no one should learn of our plan, and that you should
conceal it all day long from every one, and speak of it to no one,
neither with your uncle, nor with Elza, nor with Andreas Hofer."

"But how am I to get a priest to marry us?"

"Leave it all to me, sir. I will get a priest. I have confided only
to my dear old friend Joachim Haspinger, the Capuchin, who was
lately in Innspruck, what would take place in case you should return
with my Elza, and he promised that he himself would marry us.
Accordingly, on being informed this morning by the courier of your
speedy arrival, I sent at once a mounted messenger to Father
Haspinger, and I am sure that he will come to Innspruck to-day."

"You intended, then, to redeem your promise of your own accord!"
exclaimed Ulrich, joyfully; "you thought of it without being
reminded of it. Oh, I thank you, my Eliza, for I see now that you
really love me."

"Yes, sir, I really love you," said Eliza, solemnly. "You will find
it out this very day. Will you promise me now to conceal our plan
from every one, and let me make all necessary arrangements?"

"I do, my sweet girl. Tell me what I am to do, and I will obey you
silently and unconditionally."

"Well, then, dear Ulrich," she said, in a tremulous voice, "come to-
night, at nine o'clock, to the chapel here in the imperial palace.
As a witness, I hope you will find there our dear commander-in-
chief, Andreas Hofer. Father Haspinger will stand before the altar,
and your betrothed will kneel before the altar too, ready to become
your wife, and love and serve you all her life."

"And I shall find there my betrothed, to whom I shall plight my
faith before the altar, and whom I will love and cherish all my
life!" exclaimed the captain, in profound emotion.

She bent her head gently, as if to accept his solemn vow. "Then you
will come to the chapel at nine?" she asked.

"I will," he said, smilingly, "and you may be sure that I shall be
promptly on hand. I shall be as punctual as the digger after a
hidden treasure, who must disinter it at the stated hour, if he does
not want to lose it entirely. I shall be at the chapel at nine
o'clock."

"Very well, at nine o'clock. And now farewell until then, sir. I
have a great deal to attend to yet in getting up the bridal dress
and ornaments, for I do not want you to be ashamed of me to-day,
Ulrich. Your bride must not look like a peasant-girl. She must be
dressed up beautifully, like an aristocratic lady--like Elza, for
instance."

"Dress as you please," he said, smilingly, "but do not believe that
I shall ever be ashamed of the peasant-girl, and try to conceal the
descent of my sweet, lovely wife."

"And will you ride with me to-morrow to my father's house?" she
asked. "Will you present yourself to my father, Anthony Wallner,
commander of the Puster valley, as his son-in-law? Oh, you know full
well, Anthony Wallner is a hero; not only the Tyrol, but all Germany
is familiar with the heroic deeds which he performed at the battle
of Taxenbach against the Bavarians. He has taken the field again,
and, after joining the forces under Joseph Speckbacher, and Father
Haspinger, he will attack the Bavarians at the Pass of Lueg, and, if
it please God, defeat them. I suppose, Ulrich, you will accompany me
to my father, Anthony Wallner, and ask your father-in-law to give
you his blessing?"

"But you told me just now, Eliza, that he is not at home?"

"Well, then," she exclaimed, earnestly, "we will ride to the Pass of
Lueg."

Ulrich was silent, and looked down in evident confusion; he did not
see that Eliza fixed her eyes on him with a searching, mournful
expression.

"Eliza," he said, after a pause, lifting his head slowly, "you
possess a magnanimous heart and a delicate soul. Your heart will
forgive me, therefore, for not fulfilling your wish, and your soul
will understand that I cannot fulfil it. Your father is the
commander of the Tyrolese, who have risen in rebellion against
Bavaria, and he is fighting against the Bavarians, my countrymen and
comrades. I have recovered my liberty, but I had to swear not to
take up arms again during the present war against the Tyrolese. The
King of Bavaria permitted me to take this oath, and ordered me to
return to Munich, where I am to remain till the end of the war. I
must set out for the Bavarian capital to-morrow, and my sweet,
beloved wife will accompany me. After the war is over, and when
there is peace again in the beautiful Tyrol, I shall return with my
Eliza to her home, and ask my father-in-law, Anthony Wallner, to
give me his blessing. I shall be at liberty then to praise his
heroism loudly, and love and honor him as my wife's father. Do you
understand that I cannot act otherwise, beloved?"

"I do," she replied; "I do understand that the Bavarian Captain
Ulrich von Hohenberg cannot now go to the Tyrolese commander,
Anthony Wallner, ask him, while he is fighting against the
Bavarians, to bless him, and call him father-in-law. Let us leave it
to the future to grant us peace and happiness."

"You understand that I cannot act otherwise," he said, anxiously.
"But you are sad? I see a cloud on your forehead, Eliza."

"No, not a cloud," she exclaimed, shaking her head. "Every thing is
clear in my mind, and I see distinctly what I must do. Come, then,
to the chapel at nine; every thing will be in readiness there."

"You will be there, my lovely bride," exclaimed Ulrich, blissfully,
opening his arms to her. "Oh, do not avoid me, Eliza; you are mine
now, your place is on my heart, do not avoid me! See, I am
submissive and obedient, and I will not take what you do not give me
of your own accord. But give me now your bridal present, Eliza; give
me the first kiss of love!"

"No, sir," she said, almost anxiously; "on the wedding-day no pious
bride must desecrate her lips by kissing or partaking of food before
going to the altar. Only devout thoughts should fill her heart; and
she ought to pray and implore the saints to vouchsafe happiness to
her. Let me go, therefore, and fulfil my sacred duties."

"Yes, my sweet, innocent dove, I will let you go," said Ulrich,
gently. "Pray to God and the saints for you and me, but be punctual
to-night."

"I shall, sir. Now, farewell. Go out by this door, for Elza is
coming to me. I have to tell her a great many things yet."

"She will know your secret then? You will confide to her what I am
not to betray to any one?"

"No, sir, I shall tell her nothing about it. No one but God must
know my secret. For the last time, then, farewell, sir!"

"Farewell, Eliza! Oh, give me your hand! Let me press it once to my
heart! Oh, fear nothing, Eliza, my unholy lips shall not desecrate
even your hand to-day. Now I will go, my child; farewell until to-
night, my sweet love!"

He bowed to her with a blissful smile, and left the room quickly.
Eliza looked after him, motionless, breathless, listening to his
footsteps, and heaving a deep sigh when they died away in the
distance. Then she laid both her hands convulsively on her heart.

"Oh, it is in great pain!" she murmured. "It seemed at one time as
though it would break, and as though I should die on the spot. But I
must not die, nor even weep. And I feel that the good God helps me,
and that he approves of what I am going to do. It was God Himself
who prompted me to ask Ulrich if he would accompany me to my father.
He was obliged to reply that he could not go to the enemy, though
this enemy was to become his father-in-law. When he told me that, my
heart bridled up, and was once more glad and strong. I knew all at
once that I was doing right, and I will carry out my plan to the
bitter end. But hush, hush! here comes Elza! I must put on a
cheerful face now."

"Lizzie, my Lizzie, are you here?" asked Elza, opening the door.

"Yes, here I am, Elza," exclaimed Eliza, who hastened with a smiling
face to her friend.

"And where is Ulrich? Why is he not here? Oh, I sat with such a
throbbing heart at father's bedside; I longed so much for him to
fall asleep! Oh, Lizzie, I have to tell you so many things! Ah, you
do not know how happy I was during this splendid, charming journey!
To be always by Ulrich's side, what a bliss! And how tenderly and
attentively he took care of my dear old father, just like a good,
grateful son, who would like to guess from his father's eyes every
wish he might entertain. I often wept tears of joy on seeing him
support my father, almost carrying him into the carriage, and
arranging his seat for him, and on hearing him comfort the old man
in gentle yet manly words. Ulrich did not speak of God and the
saints, and yet what he said was pious, pious as a prayer of holy
charity. Oh, how noble, good, brave, and gentle, Ulrich is!"

"And you love him, Elza, do you not?"

"Yes. I love him with all my heart, and shall for evermore. But
where is he? Where is Ulrich? Was he not with you?"

"He was, Elza; he left me at the moment when you came."

"He was here so long? And what did you speak of? Oh, tell me, Eliza,
what did you speak of?"

"Of you, Elza," said Eliza, with a wondrous, radiant expression.

"Ah, of me!" exclaimed Elza, joyfully. "Oh, tell me, Lizzie, do you
think he loves me?"

"I do not believe it, Elza, I know it for certain. He intrusted me
with an important commission for you, and asks of you a great proof
of your love. Come, Elza, let us go to my room. We will be sure
there not to be overheard by any one. I will tell you everything
there."

CHAPTER XXXVIII.

THE WEDDING.

Night had come, and the people of Innspruck had not yet set bounds
to their rejoicings. All the streets were brilliantly illuminated; a
festive performance was played at the theatre, and the apartments at
the imperial palace began to fill with the guests who had been
invited to the ball.

But while the palace was shining with splendid lustre for the first
and last time during the reign of Andreas Hofer, one of its wings
had remained gloomy and silent. It seemed as though the loud voices
of the world shrank from penetrating hither. Even the sentinel
pacing the long, deserted corridor, trod more softly and crossed
himself every time he reached the end of the passage. For the
imperial chapel lay at the end of the corridor in this wing of the
palace, and through the high windows there one could look down upon
the altar and the holy lamp.

The sentinel had just walked up the corridor once more slowly and
dreamily, when he suddenly saw two men coming along. He stood still
respectfully and presented arms. These two men were Andreas Hofer,
the commander-in-chief, and Old Red-beard, Joachim Haspinger, who
was walking by his side, in his brown cowl and his heavy leather
shoes. On approaching the sentinel, Andreas Hofer stood still and
nodded kindly to him. "It is not necessary for you, Joe, to stand
here all alone and present arms. I know you are one of the best
dancers in the Passeyr valley, and as there is a ball at the palace,
you had better go there and dance. I believe the good God Himself
will watch over His chapel here."

"Much obliged to you, commander-in-chief--much obliged to you!"
exclaimed the soldier, joyfully; and he ran down the corridor as
fast as his feet would carry him. "How gay and high-spirited these
young folks are!" sighed Hofer.

"And why are you not merry too, brother Andy?" asked the Capuchin.
"A great honor was conferred upon you to-day; they paid you homage
and cheered you as though you were the Messiah. The whole city is
illuminated for your sake to-night; at the theatre, the orchestra
played flourishes three times, and the whole audience rose the
moment the commander-in-chief entered the house. But scarcely had
the morose hero been there a quarter of an hour when he sneaked off
again. I followed him stealthily, and found him at last in his
office; and while the whole city is rejoicing, he sits at the table
covered with papers, and weeps big tears into his beard!"

"But I told you, brother, that couriers had arrived from the valley
of the Adige, and informed me that the prospects of our cause are
very gloomy there. The people are split up into factions, which are
engaged in bitter wranglings. How can I rejoice at the extraordinary
honors paid to me, when there are such dark spots in the country?"
[Footnote: Andreas Hofer's own words.--See "Bilder und Erinnerungen
aus Tyrols Freiheitskampfen von 1809," by Loritza, p. 13.]

"Do not think of that now, Andy. The Lord has helped us hitherto,
and He will help us henceforward; for our cause is just, and no
enemy is able to stand up against it."

"And do you think, brother, that what we are going to do now is also
good and just?" asked Hofer, hesitatingly.

"Yes, I do, Barbone. Lizzie Wallner is a noble, brave girl, and the
good God and His angels love her."

"Well, if you say so, brother Capuchin, it must be all right; for
you are a priest of the Lord, and would certainly not consent to
cheat God in so holy a place."

"God cannot be cheated," said the Capuchin, solemnly; "only short-
sighted man can. Now, Lizzie Wallner has keen eyes and a pure heart;
hence she looks into the future, and sees what the short-sighted
Bavarian cannot see, and helps him and herself to escape from the
abyss into which both of them would otherwise fall. She is a genuine
heroine, and I am proud and fond of her. Otherwise I should not have
come to Innspruck to-day. I came only for her sake and at her urgent
request. We are exceedingly busy at the earthworks near the Pass of
Lueg, and look from day to day for the Bavarians to attack us. Hence
I must return there this very night, that I may be with our men to-
morrow in case there should be a fight."

"God grant that you may be victorious!" sighed Andreas.

"But hark! the clock strikes nine, and the sexton is already
lighting the candles on the altar."

"But he has been instructed to light only two of them, lest there
should be too much light," said the Capuchin. "Let us go down now,
brother Andreas, and do not forget what you have to do. When the
bride enters by the small side-door, you go to meet her, take her
hand, and conduct her to the altar. After they are married, you
offer her your hand again and beg of her permission to accompany her
to the door of her room."

"All right, I will do so," said Andreas. "Come, let us go down to
the chapel."

A dim twilight reigned in the small chapel. Only two of the tall
wax-lights burned on the altar, and shed their flickering rays on
the vigorous form of the Capuchin, who was standing in front of it,
and praying in a low voice with clasped hands. Close to him, near
the steps of the altar, stood Andreas Hofer, his head bent down, and
his hands clasped on the small crucifix which was to be seen about
his neck by the side of the gold medal and chain.

Footsteps were heard now in the aisle of the chapel, and a tall man
in dark civilian's dress approached the altar. Andreas Hofer drew
himself up to his full height and went to meet him.

"God bless you, Captain Ulrich!" he said, kindly; "I hope you will
accept me as witness of your marriage."

"I thank you, commander-in-chief, for consenting to be our witness,"
said Ulrich, cordially; "and I thank you also, Father Haspinger, for
coming to Innspruck from such a distance to marry us."

"I come whenever Eliza Wallner calls me and needs me," said the
Capuchin, solemnly.

A small side-door now opened, and a female form in a long white silk
dress came in. Her head was covered and concealed with a white veil,
which surrounded her whole form like a cloud, and flowed down to the
ground. On her head, over the veil, she wore the diadem of the
virgin and bride, a blooming myrtle-wreath.

While Andreas Hofer went to meet her and took her hand to conduct
her to the altar, Ulrich contemplated her with a throbbing heart,
and unutterable bliss filled his bosom.

"She has kept her word," he thought; "she has doffed the costume of
the Tyrolese girls and thereby divested herself of her whole past.
Oh, how splendid her form looks in this dress; she seems taller and
prouder, and yet so lovely and sweet."

He gazed at her as she approached slowly with alight springing step,
leaning on Andreas Hofer's arm; he saw only her!

He did not hear a door opening softly yonder in the vestry, which
contained several latticed windows; he did not see the dark female
form which approached the windows, and whose pale face looked out
for a moment and then disappeared hastily. He saw only her, his
beloved, his bride, who stood now by his side, whose hot, trembling
hand now rested in his own, and who returned gently the tender
pressure of his hand.

And now Father Haspinger raised his voice and spoke in devout and
impressive words to the bride and bridegroom of the solemnity of
this sacred hour, of the importance of the union which they were
about to enter upon before God, and of the sacred duties the
fulfilment of which they were to vow before the altar.

"And now I ask you, Captain Ulrich von Hohenberg," he said, in a
loud voice, "will you take your betrothed here for your wife, and
love and cherish her all your life long?"

He replied in a loud, joyous voice, "Yes."

"And you, young maiden," added the Capuchin, "will you take your
betrothed here for your husband, and love and cherish him all your
life long?"

A low, timid "Yes" fell from her lips. Stifled sobs and groans
resounded in the direction of the vestry.

"Join hands, then." said the Capuchin, solemnly, "and let me
exchange your rings in token of your union. I marry you now in the
name of God, and henceforth you are man and wife. What God hath
joined together, let not man put asunder. Kneel down now and receive
the benediction."

The bride and bridegroom knelt down hand-in-hand before the altar;
the concealed woman knelt down in the vestry alone, trembling and
quivering with anguish.

When the benediction had been given and the bride and bridegroom
arose, she rose likewise from her knees. "Holy Virgin," she prayed
in a low voice, "give me strength now! Thou beholdest my heart, and
seest what I am suffering! Oh, be with me in Thy mercy, and give me
strength and constancy!"

The ceremony was over now, and Andreas Hofer approached the bride.
"As your father was prevented from being present," he said, "permit
me to take his place and conduct you to your room. I suppose you do
not object to it, Captain Ulrich!"

"On the contrary, I am obliged to you for taking the place of my
sweet bride's father. Lead the way, I will follow you."

"No, sir, wait a moment," exclaimed Father Haspinger, solemnly. "I
must speak a few words with you privately."

"And I have to thank you for your kindness in coming to our
wedding," said Ulrich, standing still in front of the alter and
following only with his eyes his bride, who was just leaving the
chapel with Andreas Hofer by the side-door.

"Captain Ulrich," said the Capuchin, after the door had closed
behind the two, "I have complied with Eliza Wallner's request, and
married you to your betrothed. You are now man and wife, and nothing
but death can separate you from your wife. Do not forget this, sir.
But will you also do what I am now about to ask of you?"

"I promise to do it, if it be in my power."

"In the vestry yonder is one who wishes to see you. Go to her. But
promise me by all that is sacred to you that you will listen to her
calmly; that, whatever she may say to you, you will not inveigh
against her; and that you will overcome your heart and submit like a
brave man to that which cannot be helped."

"I do not comprehend what you mean," said Ulrich, smilingly, "but I
promise to submit like a brave man to that which cannot be helped."

"Go, then, to the vestry," said Father Haspinger; "I will leave the
chapel, for no one except God should hear what she has to say to
you."

He bowed to Ulrich, and quickly walked down the passage to the large
door of the chapel. Ulrich hastened to the vestry, and, opening the
door, murmured to himself: "What a strange mystery! Who can await me
here?"

"I await you here, sir," said a low, tremulous voice.

Ulrich looked up, and stared at her who stood before him with
clasped hands and gazed at him with beseeching eyes.

"Eliza!" he exclaimed, starting back with a cry of horror; "Eliza,
you are here?"

"Yes, I am here," she said; "I am here to implore your forgiveness."

"My forgiveness?" he asked, trembling, and pressing both his hands
to his temples. "My God! my head swims--I believe I shall go mad!
Eliza is here, she stands before me in her peasant costume, and she
left me only a few moments ago in a white bridal dress, and with a
myrtle-wreath on her head. What does this quick transformation mean,
and how was it possible?"

"It is no transformation, sir," said Eliza, bashfully. "I am Eliza
Wallner, the peasant-girl, and she who left you in the chapel is
your wedded wife, the young Baroness von Hohenberg--"

"You are my wedded wife, you alone?" he cried, impetuously.

"No, sir, I am not!"

"You are not?" he cried, vehemently. "And who is she who went from
me there?"

"She is your wife, who loves you with all her heart," said Eliza,
solemnly; "she is the wife whom your parents selected for you from
your earliest youth; she is Elza von Hohenberg."

Ulrich uttered a cry of rage and despair, and rushed upon Eliza with
uplifted hand, pale as a corpse, and with flashing eyes.

She bent her head and whole form before him. "Strike me, I deserve
your anger," she said, humbly.

Ulrich dropped his arm with a groan. "Then you have cheated me,
wretched girl!" he cried, furiously. "You wished to revenge yourself
on me, you lied to me, you betrayed me, you enmeshed me with
hypocritical falsehoods, and played an infamous game with me! Well,
why do you not laugh? Your efforts were successful, you have
revenged yourself. Oh, I am in despair; my rage and grief will break
my heart. Why do you not laugh?"

"I do not laugh, sir, because I see that you grieve, and because God
knows that I would give up my heart's blood to spare you an hour of
suffering."

He burst into scornful laughter. "And yet you have treated me so
infamously? You have played a miserable comedy with me, and perjured
yourself?"

"Sir, I have not perjured myself," cried Eliza. "I have fulfilled
faithfully the oath I swore to you when you took leave of me and
went to procure my Elza's release."

"You have fulfilled it? False girl! repeat your oath to me, that I
may convict you of perjury."

"I said that if you would bring back Elza, you should receive your
bride, who loved you with infinite tenderness, at the hands of the
priest, whether it was early in the morning or late at night!"

"Well, then, have you fulfilled your oath? Have you not perjured
yourself?"

"I have fulfilled my oath; I have not perjured myself. Elza loves
you, sir; she loves you with infinite tenderness."

"Oh, what miserable, insidious sophistry!" cried Ulrich, sinking
despairingly on a chair. "Your words were as full of duplicity as
your heart is; and I, poor, short-sighted dupe, believed your words!
And not you alone, but Elza, too, has cheated me--she whom I loved
as a sister, and whom I should have loved even better, if you had
not stepped in between us, if I had not seen you. Elza has betrayed
me too; she did not shrink from playing so unworthy a part! Oh, it
will break my heart, it will break my heart; I lose in this hour all
that I loved! Nothing remains to me but contempt, scorn, and
dreadful loneliness!"

He buried his face in his hands and wept bitterly.

"Sir," exclaimed Eliza, with a cry of despair, kneeling down before
him, "you weep?"

"Yes, I weep," he sobbed; "I weep for my fallen angels, my lost
paradise! I am a man; therefore I am not ashamed of my tears."

Eliza lifted her eyes and clasped hands to heaven. "Holy Virgin,"
she exclaimed, "give strength to my words, that he may hear and
understand me!"

She rose from her knees, stepped close up to Ulrich, and laid her
hand on his shoulder. "Sir," she said, "do you remember yet what I
said to you on taking leave of you on the mountain? I reminded you
of it the other day, but you forgot it again. I said to you: 'You
are a nobleman, and I am a peasant-girl; you are a Bavarian, and I,
thank God, am again an Austrian. We do not suit each other, and can
never become husband and wife.' That is what I said to you, and I
repeated it to you the other day, but you would not understand it."

"Because I loved you, Eliza; because I felt that my love would be
strong enough to surmount all obstacles!"

"Was your love strong enough to prevail on you, sir, to go to my
father, Anthony Wallner, and ask him to bless you, his son-in-law?
See, I asked you to do so, because I knew that you would refuse, and
because I thought it would convince you that we could never become
man and wife and ought to part. For without the blessing of my
parents I could never follow a husband into the world; nor would you
want a wife who did not bring with her either the blessing of her
parents or that of your own, for you are a good and excellent man.
That was the reason, sir, why we could not become man and wife, even
though it should break our hearts."

"Our hearts?" he cried, impetuously. "Do not speak of your heart; it
is cold and hard."

"What do you know of my heart?" she asked. "I do not bear it on my
lips, nor in my eyes either. It rests deep in my bosom, and God
alone sees and knows it. But I, sir, know another heart; I gazed
deeply into it, and discovered in it the most fervent love for you,
sir. This other heart is that of my Elza: Elza loves you! And you
know that I love Elza, and therefore you must believe me, even
though you distrust me in other respects. I shall love my Elza as
long as I live, and I swore to her never to abandon her, never to
deceive her. She confides in me, sir; she did not conceal from me a
single fold of her heart. Should I have told her, 'Captain Ulrich,
whom you love, and whom your father wants to become your husband,
loves me; and I, whom you call your best friend, although she is but
a peasant-girl, while you are the daughter of a nobleman, will take
your lover from you and make him my husband?' No, sir, never could I
have said so; never should I have been capable of breaking Elza's
heart: I preferred to break my own!"

"She does not know that I love you? She ought to have known it,
inasmuch as she consented to play this unworthy part and take your
place before the altar."

"She did not know any thing about it; I deceived her. I told her you
sent me as a love-messenger to her, and that I had taken it upon
myself to obtain her consent to a clandestine marriage with you,
because you were obliged to set out for Munich this very night, and
because you wished to take with you the certainty that she would be
yours forever, and that you might have the right of protecting her
after God had taken her father from her and made her an orphan. Sir,
Elza loves you, and therefore she consented, and became your wife."

"And her father? Did he, too, consent to the deception?"

"Her father, sir, is very sick, and I believe he is on his death-
bed. Elza told him nothing of it, for the excitement, the joy might
have killed him. I told her it was your will that she should be
silent; and because she loves you and would comply with all your
wishes, she was silent, obeyed your call, and came all alone to the
altar to become your wife."

"My wife! she is not my wife! The marriage is null and void, and I
shall never acknowledge it."

"Elza is your wife, sir, your wife before God and man. A priest
married you, and you swore before the altar to love and cherish her.
Oh, sir, I beseech you, do not repudiate my Elza, for she loves you;
and by repudiating Elza you will repudiate me, for Elza is the
better half of my heart. In making her happy, think that you make me
happy; and in loving her, think I feel that you love one me!"

"Oh, Eliza," cried Ulrich, gazing at her as she stood before him
with a glowing countenance, "Eliza, you angel, why can I not possess
you?"

"Because it is not God's will, sir! 'The blessing of the parents
builds houses for the children,' says the proverb; hence we could
not build a house, sir, for we had not the blessing of our parents.
Now you have it, Elza brings it to you, and she brings you love,
sir, and happiness. No, do not shake your head; she brings you
happiness. You do not believe it now, for your heart grieves, and he
who has such a wound thinks that it never will heal. But love is a
good surgeon. Elza will dress your heart and heal it."

"And your heart, Eliza, will it heal, too? For your heart has
likewise a wound, and, whatever you may say to the contrary, you
loved me."

"I loved you!" she exclaimed. "No, say rather I still love you! If I
had not loved you, should I have been strong enough to withstand
your supplications and resist my own heart in order to secure your
happiness? Oh, be happy, then,--be happy through me and for my sake!
Fold Elza to your heart, love her and let her love you; and when in
future days, happy in Elza's arms, and surrounded by her sweet
children, you remember the past and its grief smilingly, do not
forget me, but say, 'Lizzie was right after all! She loved me
faithfully!'"

"Faithfully?" he asked, bursting into tears. "Your heart will heal
likewise, Eliza; you will forget me in the arms of another husband."

"No, sir! My heart I hope, will heal, but God alone will heal it,
and no other husband. I am not able to love another man, and I
believe, moreover, I have something else to do. The fatherland needs
brave hands, and I belong to my fatherland and my father. We shall
have war again, sir, war with the Bavarians. Thank God, you will not
be among our enemies! I shall carry our wounded out of the thickest
of the fight, and nurse them; and if a bullet hits me, well, then, I
shall die for the fatherland, and it will gladden your heart, also,
to hear that Lizzie Wallner died as a brave daughter of the Tyrol. I
pray God to let me die in this manner. Amen! But now, sir, go to
your young bride. She will be wondering already at your long
absence. Oh, go to her, sir, and be kind and loving to her; let her
never suspect what has taken place between us, and that you did not
marry her of your own accord."

"I cannot dissemble, Eliza; I cannot turn my heart like a glove."

"Do I ask you to do so? Have you not always loved Elza? Love her
now, then; love her for my sake, love me in her! Go, sir; Elza is
waiting for you. I shall go too. Our good Haspinger is waiting for
me, and I shall go with him to my father. We shall never meet again,
and therefore I will give you now my wedding-present. You asked me
for it this morning, and I refused; but now I will give it to you
voluntarily. Close your eyes, sir, for you must not see what I give
you; and do not open them until I tell you to."

"I will close my eyes, Eliza, but I shall see you nevertheless in my
heart."

She glided up to him with a noiseless step. Faithful to his word, he
had closed his eyes firmly. She gazed at him long and tenderly, as
if to engrave his features deeply on her heart; then she bent over
him and imprinted a kiss on his forehead.

"God bless you, Ulrich," she whispered, and kissed his forehead once
more. "Farewell!"

And before he was able to prevent it, or even know it, she glided to
the small door leading from the vestry into the street.

Ulrich heard the jar of the door, and opened his eyes. Eliza stood
in the open door, and cast a last, parting glance on him. Joachim
Haspinger stood behind her.

"Eliza," cried Ulrich, hastening to her, "you will leave me?"

He would have seized her hand, but Haspinger stepped between them.
"Go to your bride, sir," he said, imperatively.

"Eliza will accompany me and go to her father!"

CHAPTER XXXIX.

THE TREATY OF PEACE.

The Emperor Francis was still at Prince Lichtenstein's castle of
Totis, in Hungary, but for some days past there had no longer
reigned there the profound silence and calm monotony which had
prevailed during the first days of the imperial sojourn. Couriers
came and went, equipages rolled up, and conveyed to the castle some
of the Austrian diplomatists, with whom the emperor conversed a long
while in his cabinet, whereupon they departed again. Even Baron von
Thugut, the all-powerful ex-minister, had been drawn from his
tranquil retirement, and called to the headquarters of the Emperor
Francis at Totis. Francis had locked himself up with him in his
cabinet, and conversed with him in so low a tone that Hudelist,
although he had applied his ear to the keyhole, had been unable to
hear a single word of importance; and the emperor was so reticent as
to the subject of his conversation with Thugut, that the Empress
Ludovica, although, after Thugut's departure, she had sought
frequently to fathom the meaning of his presence there in her
interviews with the emperor, did not receive the slightest
information from her husband.

Great commotion reigned at Castle Totis already early in the morning
of the 12th of October. Prince Lichtenstein had arrived in the first
place, and Count Bubna had come soon afterward. The emperor had gone
with the two diplomatists to his cabinet; they had left it several
hours afterward, and departed immediately.

Count Metternich had likewise arrived at Totis, and repaired at once
to the emperor's rooms. The count ordered the footman in the
anteroom to announce him to his majesty, but the servant shook his
head with a polite smile.

"It is unnecessary for me to announce your excellency," he said.
"His majesty ordered me to conduct your excellency at once to his
cabinet. Be so gracious, therefore, as to follow me, your
excellency."

And he hastened, with a noiseless step, through the apartments:
Count Metternich followed him quickly, and an imperceptible sneer
played over his fine youthful face as he was walking through these
sumptuous rooms, whose deserted appearance was the best proof of the
precarious situation of the emperor.

The footman stood now before the door of the imperial cabinet; after
waiting until his excellency had come close up to him, he opened
this door, and said, in a loud voice, "His excellency, Count
Metternich!"

When the count entered the cabinet, the emperor was sitting at his
writing-table, and holding in his hand a paper which he had read,
but which he laid down now, to rise and greet the count. It did not
escape Metternich's keen, prying eyes, that the emperor's face was
more serene to-day than it had been for along time past; and, on
bowing deeply to his majesty, he asked himself what might be the
cause of this unusual serenity, and who might have brought the glad
tidings which had awakened so remarkable a change.

"Welcome, count, welcome!" said the emperor, in his sonorous voice,
and with a graceful smile. "I sent for you because I am exceedingly
anxious to learn the progress of your peace-negotiations at
Altenburg. Is there no prospect yet of a speedy termination of this
abominable war?"

"Your majesty, I regret to say that the negotiations are progressing
very slowly," said Count Metternich, mournfully.

"The Emperor of the French persists with stubborn petulancy in all
his demands, and refuses firmly to abate them."

"Indeed, is Bonaparte so stubborn?" asked the emperor, kindly. "How
far have you advanced in your conferences with Minister Champagny?"

"Your majesty, we have not advanced yet beyond the difficult
questions concerning the contributions in money and the fortresses.
France refuses obstinately to take less than two hundred and thirty-
seven millions of francs, and insists on the cession of the
fortresses of Gratz and Brunn, which her troops have not even
occupied up to this time."

"That is to say, you have not advanced in your peace negotiations
beyond what both sides were willing to concede at the outset?"

"Pardon me, your majesty. In the beginning of the negotiations we
were entirely ignorant of the demands of France, while we are
familiar with them now, and know what course to adopt in regard to
them. After learning the adversary's intentions, one may more easily
devise ways and means to frustrate them."

"But you have been devising them a long time already without
obtaining any results," said the emperor, shrugging his shoulders.
"Well, what do you think, my dear count, will be the upshot of your
peace negotiations?"

"Will your majesty permit me to tell you the truth?" asked Count
Metternich, with his most winning smile.

The emperor nodded his head.

"Well then, your majesty, I believe that war will be the upshot of
all these peace negotiations. The demands of France are so
exorbitant that Austria cannot submit to them. Austria's HONOR will
compel us to resume hostilities; for a government may, if need be,
acquiesce in the loss of some of its territories, but it must never
submit to a violation of its honor."

"But do you know that a resumption of hostilities will endanger not
only some of our territories, but our existence? Our armies are
disorganized, disheartened, and without a competent commander-in-
chief; and my distinguished brothers, who are at the head of the
different corps, are quarreling as though they were old women, and
not princes. Besides, money, the best general in war times, is
wanting to us."

"Only declare your determination to resume hostilities, your
majesty, and money will not be wanting to you. Your people will
gladly sacrifice all their property for this purpose, for your
people hate Napoleon and desire vehemently that hostilities should
be resumed."

"See here," exclaimed the emperor, almost menacingly, "let me advise
you not to allude to my people, if you want me to remain on good
terms with you. I have no people; I have subjects, and want only
subjects. [Footnote: Schlosser's "History of the Eighteenth
Century."] If I need money, I shall impose additional taxes on my
subjects, and they will be compelled to pay them; but they need not
offer me any presents, for I think it would be incompatible with my
imperial honor to accept them. An emperor must not accept any thing
as a present at the hands of his subjects, not even their love, for
it is the duty of the subjects to love their emperor. Bear this in
mind, count, and do not repeat again this new-fashioned word
'people;' I cannot bear it, it smells so much of the republic and
guillotine. Well, I have told you that, if we resumed hostilities,
we should be destitute of three very essential things, namely, a
good army, a great captain, and money. There is no doubt whatever
that we should lose the first battle again; and if we were compelled
then to sue for peace, Bonaparte would impose still more rigorous
terms upon us: we should be obliged to accept them, and should lose
both territories and honor. Now you know my views, count, and you
shall know also the principal reason why I sent for you. Look at
this paper. Do you know what it contains? The treaty of peace!"

"The treaty of peace?" cried Metternich, in dismay. "Your majesty
does not mean to say--"

"I mean to say that I have made peace with the Emperor of the
French. Here is the paper; take it. The whole thing is done now."

"Your majesty," exclaimed Metternich, looking at the paper which the
emperor had handed to him, "it is really true, then? You have
already signed the treaty without being so gracious as to employ
your ministers or even inform them of it?"

"Yes, I have, for I thought we needed peace; hence, I signed the
treaty, and Prince Lichtenstein and Count Bubna have taken a copy of
it to the headquarters of the Emperor Napoleon at Schoenbrunn, and I
believe he will sign it also. Well, do not look so dumbfounded,
count, and do not wonder any longer that I succeeded in making peace
without your assistance. I allowed you and Stadion to go on with the
negotiations, and did not prevent you from displaying your whole
diplomatic skill at Altenburg against Bonaparte's minister,
Champagny; but all this could not prevent me either from promoting
the affair a little here at Totis, after my own fashion, and now all
is over. For the rest, my dear count, bear in mind what I now say to
you. I appointed you my minister, because you are an able and clear-
headed man, and an industrious and reliable functionary. I shall let
you act, decide, and govern, and not complain if people say that you
are all-powerful in Austria, and that your will alone guides the
ship of state. Let people say and think so, but YOU shall not think
so, count; you shall know once for all what our mutual position is.
I allow you to govern so long as you govern in accordance with my
views; but if I am not satisfied with the course you are pursuing, I
shall pursue my own course, and it will only remain for you to
follow me, or retire from public affairs. Now decide, my dear count;
will you follow me, or--"

"Sire, there is no 'or,'" interrupted Count Metternich. "It is your
majesty's incontestable right to lead the way, and indicate to me
the course I am to pursue."

"That is right; I like to hear that kind of language!" exclaimed the
emperor, holding out his hand kindly to the count. "You may depend

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