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and listens to us," said Hofer, lifting his eyes devoutly to heaven.

"We shall speak nothing that can offend the good God!" exclaimed
Hormayr, laughing. "We shall speak of you, Andy, and the Tyrol. I
wish to pray you, Andy, in the name of the Archduke John, who sent
me to you, and who sent his kindest greetings with me, not to close
your ears against good and well-meant advice."

"What did the archduke say? What does he want of me?" asked Andreas,
quickly.

"He wishes Andreas Hofer, like himself, to submit to the emperor's
orders quietly and patiently; he wishes Andreas Hofer to yield to
stern necessity, and no longer sow the seeds of hatred and discord,
but obey the will of his master with Christian humility and
resignation. He wishes Andreas Hofer to set a good example to all
the Tyrolese, and undertake nothing in opposition to the
stipulations of the armistice; and the Archduke John finally wishes
his beloved Andreas Hofer to secure his life and liberty by leaving
the Tyrol with the Austrian troops, and remaining for some time
under the protection of the imperial army."

"Never, never will I do that!" cried Andreas, vehemently; "never
will I leave my beloved country! I swore to the priest, and in my
own heart, that, while I lived, I would be faithful to my God, my
emperor, and my country, and that I would spill the last drop of
blood for our liberty, our constitution, and our emperor; and never
will I break my oath, never will I desert my flag like a faithless
soldier!"

"But, Andy, you are not to desert it, but only convey it to a place
of safety for a short time. Listen to me, Andy, and let me tell you
all about it. You think all may be changed yet, and you may prevent
the Austrians from leaving your mountains. But unfortunately it is
already too late. Already the Austrian general-in-chief, Baron von
Buol, has concentrated his scattered forces, and marched them to-
night from Brixen to Schabs. There you can do nothing against him;
his artillery and ammunition are safe there, and you cannot hinder
him from marching with his troops this very day into Carinthia."

"But we can prevent General Schmidt from surrendering the fortress
of Sachsenburg to General Rusca," cried Andreas, triumphantly.

"Do you think Commander Joseph Turk, in Upper Carinthia, surprised
and occupied the fortress of Sachsenburg immediately, because you
wrote to him to do so previous to Rusca's arrival? You look at me so
wonderingly, you big child? See, here is your letter to Joseph Turk!
Our men intercepted it; hence, Joseph Turk did not occupy the
fortress, and General Rusca has arrived there already."

"It is my letter, indeed," sighed Andreas Hofer, staring at the
paper which Hormayr had handed to him. "They did not allow it to
reach Joseph Turk; they no longer respect what I say and do."

"They cannot, Andy, for your and their superior, the emperor, has
ordered the soldiers to evacuate the Tyrol. It was surely most
repugnant to the emperor to do so, and I know that the Archduke John
shed tears of grief and rage on being obliged to instruct General
Buol to evacuate the Tyrol. But he submitted to stern necessity, and
you will do so too, Andy."

"What am I to do, then? What do you want of me?" asked Andreas, with
tears in his eyes.

"The Archduke John wants you to preserve yourself for better times,
Andy. He implores you to repair to a place of safety, not only for
the sake of your wife and children, but also for that of your
fatherland. Believe me, Andreas, a gloomy time is dawning upon the
Tyrol. The enemy is approaching on all sides, and the French and
Bavarians have already crossed the frontiers of the Tyrol in order
to occupy it again."

"And all our blood has been shed in vain!" cried Hofer, bursting
into tears. "All the faithful Tyrolese who have fallen in battle
gave up their lives for nothing. We fought bravely; the good God
helped us in battle; but men deserted us, and even the emperor, for
whom we fought, will not redeem the pledges he gave us, nor help us
in our sore distress."

"The emperor will never abandon his faithful Tyrolese," said
Hormayr; "only you must be patient. He cannot do any thing now; he
can not endanger his whole empire to serve the small province of the
Tyrol. For the time being, further resistance is out of the
question, but the emperor profits by the armistice to concentrate a
new army; and when hostilities are resumed, he will first think of
the Tyrol, and deliver it from the enemy."

"But until then the Tyrol itself ought to maintain its liberty!"
exclaimed Andreas Hofer, with flashing eyes. "Listen to what I wish
to say to you, Mr. Intendant, and what God Himself prompts me to
tell you. I see full well that the emperor himself is unable to
speak for the Tyrol, and cannot order his troops to remain in the
country; I see full well that the emperor, sorely pressed as he is
by Bonaparte, cannot do any thing for us. But until he is ready
again, someone ought to be courageous enough to take his place and,
as the emperor's lieutenant, defend the Tyrol against the enemy.
You, Mr. Intendant, are the man to do it. You have often assured us
that you were a brave and patriotic son of the Tyrol; prove now that
you told us the truth. Instead of leaving the Tyrol at this hour of
its greatest peril, and surrendering it to the enemy, place yourself
at its head, protect it against the enemy, and preserve it to the
emperor. [Footnote: "Gallery of Heroes: Andreas Hofer," p. 103.]
Become Duke of Tyrol, take charge of the government and defence of
the country. As provisional duke, call upon the faithful people to
take up arms, and they will rise as one man and defend its frontiers
against every enemy. Rule over the Tyrol in the emperor's place,
until he himself is able again to do so and fold us again to his
heart."

"What you say is nonsense, Andy," exclaimed Hormayr, shrugging his
shoulders. "You want me to become provisional Duke of Tyrol? Why,
the whole world would laugh at me, and the emperor would punish me
as a rebel!"

"Well, then," cried Andreas Hofer, in a powerful voice, "if you will
not do it, I will! I shall take charge of the government and call
myself 'Andreas Hofer, Sandwirth of Passeyr and Duke of Tyrol,' as
long as it pleases God!" [Footnote: Andreas Hofer's own words. - See
Hormayr's "Andreas Hofer," vol. ii., p. 361.]

"No, you will not, Andy," said Hormayr, gravely; "you will be
sensible, on the contrary, and not, from worldly pride, endanger
your country, your friends, and yourself. Bear in mind, Andy, that
you would be responsible for the blood that would be shed, if you
should incite the people to rebellion, and that you would be the
murderer of all those who should fall in the struggle provoked by
you so recklessly and in open opposition to the orders of your
emperor. Bow your head, Andy, and submit as we all do. Intrust your
and our cause to God; as it is good and just, He will not forsake
it, but render it victorious when it is time."

"I believe you," sighed Andreas; "but how can I keep quiet when, as
you have often told me, I am God's instrument and destined by Him to
deliver the dear Tyrol from the enemy? And what would my brave
lieutenants say if their commander-in-chief, Andreas Hofer, were to
leave the country in its sore distress, after he had taken an oath
to defend it while he lived? Would they not point their fingers at
me, and call me a traitor, a Judas Iscariot who sold his country for
the sake of his own safety?"

"You are mistaken, Andy. You think your friends, the captains and
other commanders, with whom you fought for the deliverance of the
Tyrol, would despise you if you followed the Austrians now and saved
your life? Now listen to me, my friend. Your best friends, the brave
Tyrolese captains, in whom you repose the greatest confidence, will
leave the Tyrol this very day of their own accord and accompany our
Austrian troops to Carinthia."

"That is false, that is impossible!" cried Andreas, vehemently.
"Speckbacher will never do so."

"Yes, he will, Andy. I saw him this morning. Here resisted and
fought as long as he could; but since the armistice compels him to
lay down the sword, and since, moreover, the French and Bavarians
are entering the country once more, he feels that it is better for
him to save his life than be caught and hung here by the vindictive
enemy. Hence, Speckbacher accepted the offer of the Austrian
officers, and will accompany them."

"Joseph Speckbacher will leave the Tyrol?" murmured Andreas Hofer,
mournfully.

"And he is not the only one, Andreas: Aschbacher, Puechler,
Sieberer, and many other brave captains of the Tyrolese, will
likewise leave with the Austrians. All have asked me to implore you
to follow their example, and flee from the perils menacing you all.
Oh, believe them, believe me, Andreas! If you stay here, the
Bavarians will not rest until they have taken you prisoner - until
their hated enemy, the formidable Barbone, has fallen into their
hands. Dear Andy, think of your wife at home, the faithful Anna
Gertrude, who prays for you morning and evening, and beseeches the
Almighty to spare the life of her dear husband; think of your dear
children, whose only protector and supporter you are; do not make
your dear wife a widow, nor your sweet children orphans! Andreas
Hofer, you cannot now be useful to the fatherland; save yourself,
then, for your wife and children!"

"My good wife, my dear children!" sighed Andreas, profoundly moved;
"it is true, they love me dearly, and would be very lonely on earth
if their father should be taken from them!"

"Preserve their father to them, then, and preserve yourself also to
the fatherland! Follow the example of your brave friends
Speckbacher, Aschbacher, Sieberer, and all the others; accompany us,
leave the Tyrol for a while, and when the time has come, return with
them and fight once more for the deliverance of the country."

"Speckbacher will leave, and so will all the others," murmured
Andreas to himself. "The Tyrol will fall again into the enemy's
hands, and all has been in vain!"

He hung his head and heaved a deep sigh.

"Come, Andreas, be sensible; think of yourself and your family,"
said Hormayr, beseechingly. "I have come hither for the sole purpose
of taking you with me; let me not have travelled in vain from Brixen
to Lienz. Come, Andreas, come! My carriage is in readiness at the
door; let us ride together to Matrey. Speckbacher, the other
friends, and the Austrians are waiting for us there; we shall cross
the Tyrolese frontier with them this very day, and you and all your
friends will be safe. Therefore, do not hesitate any longer, but
come!"

"I cannot make up my mind so suddenly," said Hofer, disengaging
himself gently from the hand of Hormayr, who was trying to draw him
up from his chair. "It is a grave, momentous step which you ask me
to take, and before I can do so I must consult God and pray to him
fervently. Therefore, pray leave me alone a little while, that I may
speak to the good God and consult him and my conscience."

"Very well, Andy, I give you a quarter of an hour to make up your
mind," exclaimed Hormayr, approaching the door.

"A quarter of an hour is not enough," said Andreas, shaking his
head. "It is late at night, and night is the time for repose and
prayer. Therefore, stay here, Mr. Intendant; sleep a few hours, and
to-morrow morning, at sunrise, come to my chamber and awaken me. I
will tell you then what God in heaven has told me to do."

"You pledge me your word, Andreas, that you will not leave during
the present night?"

"I do. I shall stay here. And now good-night. My heart is profoundly
moved, and I long for repose. This is my chamber; I begged Anthony
Steeger to let me have it; he has fine rooms for aristocratic guests
up-stairs, and he will give you one of them. Now good-night, sir!"

He bowed kindly to the baron, shook hands with him, and conducted
him to the door.


CHAPTER XXIX.

HOFER AND SPECBBACHER.


Scarcely had the sun risen next morning when Baron von Hormayr arose
and quickly prepared every thing for their departure. After seeing
that his carriage was at the street door, he descended the staircase
in order to go to Andreas Hofer.

Anthony Steeger followed him with a gloomy face, and watched his
every movement attentively. "If he tries to take Andy with him," he
said to himself, "I will strangle him. It is true, he has told me
already that Hofer will accompany him, but I do not believe it, and
he shall not coax him away. This time I shall be present, and see
what he is after."

They stood now in front of Hofer's door, and Hormayr put his hand on
the knob to open it, but it was locked on the inside.

"Andreas Hofer, Andreas Hofer!" he shouted out almost imperatively.
"The time is up; come to me, Andreas Hofer!"

The door opened, and the tall, powerful form of the Sandwirth
appeared in it.

"Here I am," he said, smiling calmly, "and you see I am ready to set
out."

"You will accompany me then, Andy?" asked Hormayr, joyfully.

"You will leave us?" cried Anthony Steeger, indignantly.

"I was waiting for you, sir," said Andreas, quietly; "and if you had
not come of your own accord, Tony, I should have called you, for you
shall hear what I have got to say to the intendant. Come in, then,
both of you, and let us speak a last word with each other. Anthony
Steeger, Baron von Hormayr, our countryman, came hither to persuade
me to accompany him and leave the Tyrol. Our friends will do the
same thing, for the Bavarians and French are already entering the
country. Speckbacher, Sieberer, and others, will save their lives
for this reason, and go with the Austrians; and the intendant thinks
I ought to do the same, for the sake of my wife and children.
However, I wished first to consult the good God. I did so all night
long. I prayed and reflected a great deal, and it seemed to me as
though the Lord spoke to me and enlightened my soul to find the true
path. Listen then, Mr. Intendant of the Tyrol, and you, too, friend
Anthony Steeger, to what I have resolved to do with God's
assistance. I took an oath to serve the fatherland as long as I
lived; as an honest man, I must keep my word, and stay in the
Tyrol."

Anthony Steeger uttered a loud cry of joy, but Hormayr's face grew
very sombre. "You do not see, then, that you are rushing upon your
own destruction?" he asked. "You are intent on rendering your wife
and children unhappy? You are bent on incurring the most imminent
peril?"

"I will incur it courageously," said Hofer, kindly. "I know very
well that what I am about to do is not prudent, but it is right.
When the tempter took Jesus up into an exceeding high mountain,
showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and said,
`All these things will I give Thee, if thou wilt fall down and
worship me,' the Saviour did not accept the offer, but remained true
to Himself, and sealed His teachings with his death. I will follow
the Saviour's example, and never, while I live, prove recreant to
the love which I vowed to the dear Tyrol; never will I leave it, but
I will stand by it and serve it to the last. Depart, then, Baron von
Hormayr; I cannot accompany you, for the country keeps me here, and
never will I abandon it whatever may happen!" [Footnote: "Gallery of
Heroes: Andreas Hofer," vol. iii., p. 104.] "Is that your last word,
Andreas?" asked Hormayr, gloomily.

"It is," said Hofer, gently. "But pray, sir, do not be angry with me
for it. Were I more prudent and sagacious, I should certainly follow
your advice; but I am only a plain peasant, and cannot but obey the
promptings of my heart. Let the Austrians leave the Tyrol. Andreas
Hofer cannot accompany them, nor can he look on quietly while the
enemy is re-entering the country. Many brave men, many excellent
sharpshooters will remain in the Tyrol, and I shall call upon them
to rally round me. We have twice delivered the country from the
enemy without any outside assistance, and we shall, perhaps, succeed
a third time."

"But if you should fail," cried Hormayr, "if the seduced Tyrolese
should curse you, if the tears and lamentations of your family
should accuse you, if you ruin yourself and your country, then
remember this hour, and the warning I gave you in order to save
you!"

"I will, Mr. Intendant," said Andreas, calmly. "Every one must do
his duty after his own fashion. You think you are doing yours by
leaving the Tyrol; I think I do mine by staying in the country. God
will decide which did right. And now, God bless you, sir! Greet
Speckbacher and all the others; and when you see the Archduke John,
tell him that my heart has not lost faith in him, and that I know
full well he would never have given up the poor Tyrol if he could
have helped it. And now, sir, do not look at me so indignantly;
shake hands with me, and let us part in peace."

He held out his hand, but Hormayr, overcome by his emotion, spread
out his arms and threw them around Hofer's neck with an air of
impassioned tenderness.

"Farewell, Andy, farewell," he said, in a low voice. "I cannot
approve of what you are doing, but I must love and admire you for
all that. Farewell, farewell!"

He disengaged himself quickly, hastened out of the room, and walked
hurriedly through the hall. A few minutes afterward his carriage
rolled away with thundering noise.

"He is gone!" cried Anthony Steeger, joyously; "the tempter has left
us, and you have remained firm, Andy; you did not allow yourself to
be seduced by his blandishments. The Tyrol will reward you and love
you for it for evermore!"

"If you speak the truth, it is well; if you do not, it is well too,"
said Andreas, calmly. "I remain because it is my duty, and because I
feel that the Tyrol needs me. Anthony, the enemy is re-entering the
country; we must drive him out a third time; that is my opinion."

"It is mine, too," replied Anthony Steeger, exultingly. "After
succeeding twice in so doing, we shall expel him a third time also."

"It is true, it is a bad and mournful thing that Speckbacher is
going to desert us," said Andreas, musingly; "but Anthony Wallner
and the Capuchin will surely stand by us, and Peter Mayer will not
leave us either. Besides, you are here, and so am I, and we five men
will raise our voices and call upon the people to rise and expel the
enemy once more. I believe the brave men will listen to our voices,
and not one of them will stay at home; all will come to us, bring
their rifles with them, and fight the French and Bavarians."

"I think so too, Andy. When the brave Tyrolese bear your voice, they
will come to a man, and we will achieve another Innspruck triumph,
and gain another victory on Mount Isel."

"God grant it in His mercy;" exclaimed Andreas, touching the
crucifix on his breast. "But I must set out now, my friend. So long
as we are unable to cope with the enemy, we must avoid meeting him,
conceal our forces, and prepare actively for the struggle. Hence, I
shall not tell you where I am going, and no one shall learn of my
whereabouts until the time has come for me to appear once more at
the head of a strong and brave army. Do your duty here, Tony, and
enlist courageous sharpshooters for the fatherland. Inform all the
patriots secretly of my plan, and tell them that we must not heed
the armistice concluded by Austria, but must fight on for our
liberty and our emperor. Have my horse brought to the door, my
friend; the sun is already over the mountains, and it is time for me
to start."

Anthony Steeger hastened away; he saddled his friend's horse with
his own hands and brought him to the door. Andreas vaulted with the
agility of a youth into the saddle, and shook hands with his friend.

"Farewell, Anthony Steeger," he said; "you shall hear from me soon."

He then spurred his horse and galloped along the high-way leading
through the Puster valley. His horse knew the way very well; it was
unnecessary for Andreas Hofer to guide him; he could let him trot
along quietly, and absorb himself in his plans and thoughts. He was
animated only by one idea, that his beloved country was in danger,
and that it needed him.

"I do not know if I shall be able to save it," he murmured to
himself, "but I do know that I must not run away. I shall hide as
long as it is necessary, and prepare myself by prayer and devotion.
Forward, my horse, forward!"

And he rode on through the valley and across the heights. Profound
silence reigned everywhere. It was yet early in the morning, the
road was quite deserted, and Andreas could brood uninterruptedly
over his thoughts and conceive his plans. All at once his musings
were interrupted by the roll of a wagon approaching on the road. It
was a large wagon with racks, drawn by four horses, and many men sat
in it. Andreas Hofer was as yet unable to see who they were, but the
red and white colours of their gold-and-silver-embroidered coats
showed him that they were soldiers. When the wagon came closer up to
him, he recognized them; they were Austrian officers and soldiers.
But who was he that occupied one of the front seats among them? Who
was that tall, slender man in the dress of the Tyrolese, his head
covered with a pointed green hat? The wagon came nearer and nearer.
Andreas Hofer halted his horse and looked steadfastly at the
Tyrolese seated in the midst of the Austrian officers. "Good
heavens," he murmured, giving a start, "I believe it is Joseph
Speckbacher! Yes, yes, it is."

Now the wagon was close by his side, and it was really he, it was
Joseph Speckbacher; and it was plainly to be seen that he had
likewise recognized Andreas Hofer, for he uttered a cry, and a deep
blush suffused his cheeks. But the Austrian officers had also
recognized the brave Sandwirth, the universally beloved Barbone, and
they shouted to the coachman to drive quicker and whip his horses
into a full gallop. The coachman did so, and the carriage sped away
at a furious rate. Andreas Hofer halted at the roadside; his tearful
eyes gazed upon his friend, and when Speckbacher was whirled past
him, Andreas exclaimed in a loud, mournful voice, "Speckbacher, are
you too going to desert the country? They are driving you to your
own disgrace, Joe!" [Footnote: Andreas Hofer's own words. - See
Mayr's "Joseph Speckbacher," p. 143.]

The wagon passed him noisily, and Joseph Speckbacher's horse, which
was tied behind, galloped rapidly after it. Andreas Hofer looked
after his friend until a cloud of dust enveloped the disappearing
wagon, and he heard only the sound of the wheels at a distance. He
then heaved a deep sigh, wiped a tear from his eye, and rode on. But
his heart was heavy and melancholy, and his thoughts returned again
and again during his ride on the lonely road to Joseph Speckbacher,
who had turned his back on the Tyrol and was about to leave it in
the hour of its sorest distress. Suddenly he thought he heard his
own name uttered behind; the call was repeated louder and more
urgently.

Andreas Hofer halted his horse and turned. A cloud of dust came up
the road like a whirlwind; now it opened, and the head and neck of a
horse and the slender rider mounted on him came in view. The cloud
veils his face as yet, but he comes nearer and nearer; his horse is
now by Andreas Hofer's side, the rider stretches out his arms toward
him and exclaims exultingly: "Andy, here I am! I heard what you
said, and jumped from the wagon, untied my horse, vaulted into the
saddle, and sped after you, my Andy. I had to overtake you and tell
you that I do not want to be disgraced; that I will not leave the
Tyrol unless you do too."

"I never will, Joe, unless I should die," said Andreas Hofer,
solemnly. "But God be praised that I have got you back, for a piece
of my heart would have left the country with you. But you are back,
and I am so glad of it! And I must give you a kiss in the name of
God, the country, and the Emperor Francis. Welcome home, good and
faithful son of the fatherland!"

He encircled Speckbacher's neck with his arms and imprinted a kiss
on his forehead. They remained locked in a long embrace, keeping
their horses side by side, and gazing at each other with proud,
smiling joy.

"And now tell me, Andy, what are you going to do?" asked
Speckbacher, after a long pause. "I hope you will not look on
quietly and peaceably while the Bavarians and French are re-entering
the country? I could not bear it, and this was the very reason why I
did not want to stay in the country; for the Austrian officers told
me, if I wished to remain in the Tyrol, I should have to keep very



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