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exclaimed all, in joyful excitement.

"Well, if it please God. I will take up my residence in the imperial
palace," exclaimed Andreas Hofer, solemnly, giving his hand to the
mayor and stepping with him to the door of the ballroom.

He was followed by the Capuchin, Joseph Speckbacher, Anthony
Wallner, the other commanders of the Landsturm, and the municipal
authorities. On stepping into the street, they were received with
thundering cheers by the people who thronged the street and the
neighboring place; and amid singing and deafening acclamations, and
the ringing of all the church-bells, the emperor's lieutenant and
commander-in-chief of the Tyrol, Andreas Hofer, was conducted to the
magnificent imperial palace, where the Sandwirth was to take up his



While the people of Innspruck set no bounds to their rejoicings on
the 15th of August, and accompanied Andreas Hofer, the emperor's
lieutenant, amid the most rapturous manifestations of enthusiasm, to
the imperial palace; while the Emperor Napoleon was celebrating the
15th of August, his birthday, by a great parade at Schoenbrunn, and
the bestowal of orders and rewards on many distinguished persons,
the Emperor Francis was at the fortress of Comorn. Only a few of his
faithful adherents had followed him thither; only his servants and
officers surrounded him at his mournful court there. The Empress
Ludovica and the archduchesses had already repaired to Totis, a
country-seat of Prince Lichtenstein, in Hungary, whither the emperor
intended to follow her in the course of a few days.

"I should set out this very day," he said, pacing his cabinet, to
his confidential agent Hudelist, the Aulic councillor, "but I should
like to see previously Count Bubna, whom I have sent to Bonaparte."

"I hope, your majesty, that the count will yet return today,"
replied Hudelist, in his humble bland voice.

"God grant it!" sighed the emperor. "It is very tedious here, and I
hope our sojourn at Totis will not be so mournful and wearisome.
Prince Lichtenstein told me there were excellent fishing-ponds
there, and he added that he had caused to be built a laboratory
where I might manufacture sealing-wax. I think, Hudelist, we shall
be very industrious there, and manufacture new and beautiful

"I received to-day a new receipt for making carmine sealing-wax,
perfumed a la rose," said Hudelist, smiling.

"Ah, that is nice," exclaimed the emperor; "give it to me - let me
read it."

The Aulic councillor drew a paper from his bosom and handed it with
a low bow to the emperor. Francis took it quickly, and fixed his
eyes smilingly on it.

His features, however, suddenly became very gloomy, and he threw the
paper indignantly on the table. "What do you give me this for?" he
asked, angrily. "In speaking of the receipt, I had forgotten the
abominable political situation for a moment, but you must at once
remind me of it."

"My God!" faltered out Hudelist, "what did I do, then, to excite
your majesty's indignation?"

The emperor took the paper from the table and handed it to him.
"See," he said, already half pacified, "is that a receipt for making

"Good heavens!" groaned Hudelist, in dismay, "I made a mistake. In
place of the receipt, I handed to your majesty the draft of the
proclamation to your subjects, which your majesty ordered me to
write. Oh, I humbly beg your majesty's pardon for having made so
lamentable a blunder; I - "

"Well, never mind," interrupted the emperor; "there is no harm done.
You handed me one receipt, in place of another; and it is true, the
sealing-wax receipt may remain in your pocket until we arrive at
Totis, but the other receipt is needed immediately, for it is
destined to reduce the people to submissiveness and tranquillity.
Well, read the proclamation you have drawn up."

"Your majesty, I have carried out carefully the orders of your
majesty, and the instructions of your minister, Count Metternich,
and written only what your majesty had agreed upon with the

"Read it," said the emperor, taking the fly-flap from the table;
and, while he was slowly gliding along the walls, and killing now
and then a fly, Hudelist read as follows:"

"To my people and my army! - My beloved subjects, and even my enemies
know that, in entering upon the present war, I was induced to take
up arms neither by thirst for conquest nor by mortified personal

"Self-preservation and independence, a peace which would be
compatible with the honor of my crown, and which would give security
and tranquillity to my people, were the lofty and only objects which
I strove to attain."

"The fickle fortunes of war have not fulfilled my expectations; the
enemy penetrated into the heart of my states, and exposed them to
the devastations of a war carried on with the most relentless
exasperation and barbarity; but, at the same time, he became
acquainted with the patriotic spirit of my people and the bravery of
my army."

"This experience, which he purchased after fearful bloodshed, and my
unvarying solicitude for the happiness of my subjects, brought about
mutual advances for peace negotiations. My plenipotentiaries met
with those of the French emperor."

"I am desirous of concluding an honorable peace, the terms of which
offer the possibility and prospect of its duration. The bravery of
my army, its unwavering courage, its ardent patriotism, its emphatic
wish not to lay down its arms prior to the conclusion of an
honorable peace, prevent me from submitting to terms which would
shake the foundations of the empire, and dishonor us after such
great and generous sacrifices and so much bloodshed."

"The noble spirit animating the army is a sufficient guaranty that,
if the enemy should after all mistake our intentions and strength,
we shall certainly obtain the reward of constancy in the end."
[Footnote: See Hormayr's "Andreas Hofer," vol. ii., p. 440.]

"There," cried the emperor at this moment, striking with the fly-
flap at the wall, "that will at length put an end to your humming,
with which you have dinned my ears for a quarter of an hour. Come
here, Hudelist, and look at this bluebottle fly. The whole time
while you were reading I was chasing it, and have only just got it.
Did you ever see so large a fly?"

"It is a very large fly indeed," said Hudelist, with a grin.

"I do not believe that it is a bluebottle fly," exclaimed the
emperor. "It is Bonaparte, who has transformed himself into a
bluebottle fly, as Jove once transformed himself into an ox; and he
came hither to annoy me and din my ears until I am quite sick. Yes,
yes, Hudelist, believe me, Bonaparte is a huge bluebottle fly, which
drives all Europe mad. Ah, would I could treat him as I treat this
abominable bluebottle fly now, and crush him under my foot!"

And the emperor crushed the writhing insect under his heel.

"Your majesty will surely enjoy one day the pleasure of crushing
Bonaparte, the huge bluebottle fly, under your heel," said Hudelist.
"Only your majesty must be gracious enough to have patience, and not
now try to attain what you will surely accomplish at a later time.
At this juncture Bonaparte is strong and superior to us; but let us
wait until there is a moment when he is weak; your majesty will
profit by this moment, and crush him."

"See, see how kind you are!" exclaimed the emperor, with a sardonic
smile; "you are so obliging as to give me advice which I did not ask
for. I thank you, Mr. Aulic Councillor, but I believe it will be
better for me to follow my own understanding. As God Almighty has
placed me at the head of Austria and made me emperor, He must
confide in my ability to discharge the duties of my imperial office.
Well, you need not look so dismayed; I know that your intentions are
good, and I confide in you."

"Your majesty knows that I am ready to die for you, and that I
should shed my blood for you unhesitatingly and joyously," exclaimed
Hudelist, enthusiastically. "It was, therefore, only my intense love
and veneration which made me venture to communicate my views freely
and openly to your majesty; but I shall never do so again, for I was
unfortunate enough to displease your majesty thereby."

"On the contrary, you shall always do so, you shall always tell me
your opinion freely and openly," cried the emperor, vehemently. "You
shall tell me all that you believe, all that you know, and all that
you hear and learn from others. Your ears, eyes, and tongue, shall
belong to me."

"And my heart, above all things, belongs to my adored emperor, your

"Have you really got a heart?" asked the emperor, smiling. "I do not
believe it, Hudelist; you are a clever, sagacious man, but you had
better say nothing about your heart, for I think you have used it up
in your countless love-affairs. Moreover, I do not care for it. I do
not think a great deal of men who have too much heart, and who
always allow their rash heart to influence their actions. My
distinguished brother, the Archduke John, for instance, has this
fault and weakness; his heart frequently runs away with his head,
and his legs finally run after it."

"But he is a very brave general," said Hudelist, gently; "a
courageous captain, and a most defiant and foolhardy enemy of
France. How unwavering were the courage and intrepidity with which
he met the Viceroy of Italy everywhere, and attacked him, even
though he knew beforehand that he would be unable to worst the
superior enemy! How great was the magnanimity with which he risked
all, and did not shrink from sacrificing the lives of thousands in
attempting to carry out an insignificant coup against the enemy! And
how sublime was the heroism with which he has often dared to brave
the orders of the commander-in-chief and pursue his own way, on
finding that these orders were dangerous and pernicious to his

"Yes," cried the emperor, bursting into scornful laughter, "it was
owing to this disobedience and stubbornness that we lost the battle
of Wagram. If the Archduke John had been more obedient, and arrived
with his troops in time, we should have gained the battle. I should
not be in this miserable hole and it would not be necessary for me
to sue Bonaparte so humbly and contritely for generous terms of
peace. The good heart of my distinguished brother subjected me to
this unpleasant necessity, and I shall one day manifest to him my
gratitude for it."

"Oh, your majesty," said Hudelist, in his blandest voice, "if the
archduke should have unwittingly committed a blunder on this
occasion, he has made a thousand amends for it. Your majesty should
bear in mind all that the noble Archduke John accomplished in the
Tyrol. Your majesty owes it only to the archduke that the Tyrol rose
as one man, that it fought, and is fighting still, with the utmost
heroism. He arranged it all; he organized a conspiracy in the Tyrol
while the country was yet under the Bavarian yoke - a vast, gigantic
conspiracy; owing to his secret instigation, the revolution broke
out simultaneously in all parts of the Tyrol, and it is the name of
the Archduke John which fills this people of heroes with the sublime
courage which it displays in the most murderous battles."

"It is bad enough that it is so," exclaimed the emperor, striding
uneasily up and down the room. "The Archduke John sowed the seeds of
pernicious weeds, and played a very dangerous game."

"It is true, it is dangerous to preach rebellion to a people, and
teach it how to rise in insurrection," said Hudelist, thoughtfully.
"And it cannot be denied that the insurrection of the Tyrolese sets
a deplorable example in some respects. It is true, the archduke
organized the conspiracy only for the good of Austria and her
emperor; but what the Tyrolese are doing to-day FOR the emperor,
they might another time do AGAINST him; and if the archduke were not
so exceedingly loyal and entirely above suspicion, one might think
he had stirred up the insurrection for his own purposes and benefit.
At all events, it only depends on him to have himself proclaimed
King of the Tyrol, for his influence is all-powerful in that

The emperor uttered a cry of rage. His eyes shot fire, his lips
quivered and muttered incoherent threats, his cheeks had turned
livid, and be paced his room in indescribable agitation. Then, as if
to give vent to the rage filling his breast, he took up the fly-flap
and struck violently at the flies seated here and there on the wall.

Hudelist followed his every motion with his cold, stealthy eyes, and
an expression of scorn and malicious joy illuminated his sombre face
for a moment.

"It was effectual," he murmured to himself; "jealousy and suspicion
have struck roots in his heart, and we shall succeed in neutralizing
the influence of the archduke, who constantly preaches war, and war
at any cost."

Suddenly the emperor cast his fly-flap aside, and turned to
Hudelist, whose face had quickly resumed its quiet, humble, and
impenetrable expression.

"Hudelist," said the emperor, in a low and mysterious tone, "always
tell me all you know about the archduke, and do not conceal any
thing from me. I must know all, and count upon your sincerity and
talent of observation."

"Your majesty," cried Hudelist, ardently, "I swear that I will
faithfully carry out the orders of my emperor. Not a word, not a
step, not a manifestation of public opinion shall be concealed from
your majesty; for, as your majesty was gracious enough to observe,
my ears, eyes, and tongue, belong to your majesty."

At this moment the door of the anteroom opened, and a footman
announced Count Bubna.

"Let him come in," said the emperor; and he dismissed, with a quick
wave of his hand, Hudelist, who, bowing respectfully, and walking
backward, left the emperor's cabinet at the same moment that Count
Bubna appeared on the threshold of the opposite door.

The emperor hastened to meet him. "Now speak, count!" he exclaimed,
eagerly; "did you see Bonaparte? Did he admit you?"

"Yes, your majesty," said Count Bubna, with gloomy gravity, "the
Emperor Napoleon did admit me. I had a long interview with him."

The emperor nodded his head. "Did he offer you terms of peace?"

"He did, but I cannot conceal from your majesty that the Emperor
Napoleon will impose very harsh and oppressive conditions. He is
exceedingly irritated, and the heroic resistance which our army
offered to him, our brilliant victory at Aspern, and the fact that
his victory at Wagram was after all little better than a drawn
battle, seem to have exasperated him in the extreme. For this reason
he is resolved to impose rigorous terms of peace on us, because, if
Austria should submit to them, she would thereby admit that the
Emperor of the French gained a great victory at Wagram."

"Well, I am glad that he is irritated," said the emperor, shrugging
his shoulders; "so am I, and I shall not accept any peace which
would impose humiliating terms on Austria. That is what I have
promised this very day to my people in the proclamation lying on the
table yonder; and I owe it, moreover, to myself. Either an honorable
peace, or a decision by the fortune of war. If need be, I will call
upon my whole people to take up arms; I will place myself at the
head of this grand army, and either defeat Bonaparte, or succumb

"Ah, if your people could see your majesty in your generous
excitement, with how much enthusiasm they would follow their emperor
and expel the enemy!" exclaimed Count Bubna. "And yet even the most
intense enthusiasm might fail, for circumstances are more powerful
than your majesty's heroism. The Emperor Napoleon is determined to
follow up his success to its most extreme consequences, and we are
at this juncture unable to cope with him in the long run. All the
gaps in his army have been filled up, and his soldiers are flushed
with victory, and eager to meet our own forces. Our army is greatly
weakened, disorganized, and disheartened; and, moreover, it has no
commander-in-chief, inasmuch as your majesty has accepted the
resignation of the generalissimo. To continue the war would be
equivalent to endangering the existence of Austria and the imperial
dynasty itself."

"Ah, you mean that Bonaparte would be pleased to say of my dynasty
what he said of Naples and Spain: 'The Bourbons have ceased to

"Your majesty, although the Emperor Napoleon did not dare to use
such unmeasured language, he did not fail to hint at such an event.
Having admitted me after repeated refusals and hearing my first
words, 'My august master, the Emperor of Austria,' the Emperor
Napoleon interrupted me, and cried vehemently, 'There is no longer
an Emperor of Austria, but only a Prince of Lorraine!'"

"Ah, indeed, he permits me at least to retain the title of a Prince
of Lorraine! And what else did he say? Do not conceal any thing from
me, Count Bubna, but bear in mind that I must know all, in order to
take my resolutions accordingly."

"Your majesty, if I did not bear this in mind, I should never
venture to repeat what the Emperor Napoleon permitted himself to say
to me. He seemed to speak quite unreservedly in my presence; lying
on the floor by the side of his maps, or sitting on the table and
placing his feet on a chair, or standing before me with folded arms,
he spoke to me with a frankness which almost frightened me, and
which at times seemed to me quite involuntary."

"There you were mistaken, at all events," said Francis, shrugging
his shoulders. "Bonaparte never does any thing unintentionally, and
not a word escapes him but what he wants to utter. I know him better
than you all, though I have seen him only once in my life; and God
knows that, after my interview with him subsequent to the battle of
Austerlitz, my heart was filled with intense hatred against him.
Now, my heart is more constant in hatred than in love; and if it is
said that love makes us blind, hatred, on the other hand, renders us
keen-sighted, and that is the reason why I am able to see through
Bonaparte and know him better than you all. Tell me, therefore, what
he said so frankly to you, and I shall know what to think of his
statements which seem to you unintentional expressions of his real
sentiments. What does he think of the armistice? Is he really intent
on drawing the sword once more, or is he inclined to conclude

"Inclined, your majesty, is not the right word. He intends to GRANT
peace to your majesty in return for heavy sacrifices. Your majesty
will have to sacrifice much territory, many fortresses, and finally
a great deal of money, in order to obtain peace."

"And what if I should not do so?" cried Francis, impetuously. "What
if I should prefer to resume hostilities and die honorably on the
ruins of my empire rather than purchase a dishonorable peace? What
would he say then?"

"Then he would resume hostilities with his strong and enthusiastic
army; he would, as he told me more than once in his thundering
voice, be inexorable, and no considerations of generosity would
prevent him from wreaking vengeance on his personal enemy; for as
such he would regard your majesty in that event."

"But the people of Nuremberg do not hang any one before they have
got him," said the emperor, calmly. "Bonaparte has not got me yet,
and I think he will not catch me soon. Despite all his braggadocio,
he will be obliged to allow the continued existence of the Austrian
Empire, for all Europe would rise against him; even Russia herself
would become his enemy, and draw the sword against him, if he should
be daring enough to appropriate the Austrian Empire and swallow it
as he swallowed Italy."

"Your majesty, I also do not believe that he would menace Austria in
case he should be driven again to hostilities; he threatens only the
Emperor of Austria."

"What do you mean, Bubna?" asked the emperor, vehemently.

"Your majesty," said Count Bubna, in a low, timid voice, "the
Emperor Napoleon thinks you are his personal and inexorable enemy,
and he believes if a monarch more favorable to him were seated on
the throne of Austria, he would not only soon conclude peace with
Austria, but also have a faithful ally in her hereafter. If
hostilities should be resumed, and if the fortune of war should
decide in favor of the Emperor Napoleon - "

"Proceed, proceed," cried the emperor, impatiently, when Count Bubna
hesitated; "I must know all, and am not so cowardly as to be
frightened by mere words."

"But I, your majesty, am afraid of uttering words whose meaning
fills me with loathing and horror - words which, thank God, will
never become deeds!"

"No preamble, count, but speak out," cried the emperor, impatiently.
"What would Bonaparte do in case he should defeat us again?"

"Your majesty, he would place another emperor on the Austrian

"Ah, always the same old strain," exclaimed the emperor,
contemptuously. "One of his brothers or brothers-in-law is to become
Emperor of Austria, I suppose? 'The Hapsburg dynasty has ceased to
reign' - that is it, is it not?"

"No, another prince of the Hapsburg dynasty is to be placed on the
throne, one of the brothers of the Emperor Francis."

"Ah, ah! he thinks of my brothers," murmured the emperor, whose
cheeks turned very pale. "Well, which of my brothers did he
designate as future Emperor of Austria?"

"He thought it would be best for France if the throne were ceded to
the Grand-duke of Wurtzburg, the Archduke Ferdinand. He said he had
had confidence in the grand-duke ever since he had been in Tuscany,
and he believed that the grand-duke was likewise friendly to him. He
would make him Emperor of Austria, and add the grand duchy of
Wurtzburg to the kingdom of Bavaria."

"And the Tyrol?" asked the Emperor Francis. "Will Bonaparte, in his
liberality, give that also to Bavaria, or will he leave it to my
brother Ferdinand, the future Emperor of Austria?"

"No, your majesty. The Emperor Napoleon seems to have entirely new
and rather singular plans in regard to the Tyrol. According to these
plans. Bavaria is not to keep it, for Napoleon said angrily that
Bavaria had not at all known how to deal with the simple and honest
Tyrolese. He added that profound tranquillity should reign in the
mountains; hence, he could not restore the Tyrol to Bavaria, against
which the Tyrolese were animated by intense hatred. As the Tyrolese
had manifested their attachment and fidelity to Austria in so
admirable a manner, it would be best to make the Tyrol an
independent principality, and give it also to one of the arch-dukes,
the brothers of the emperor." [Footnote: Napoleon's own words. - See
"Lebensbilder," vol. v., p. 217.]

"By the Eternal! my brothers seem to be the special favorites of the
Emperor Napoleon," exclaimed the emperor. "Which of the archdukes is
to receive the new principality of the Tyrol at Bonaparte's hands?"

"Your majesty, he said the Tyrol should be given to that archduke
for whom the Tyrolese had always manifested the greatest love and
enthusiasm, the Archduke John."

"John!" cried the emperor, giving a start; "John is to become
sovereign of the Tyrol? Ah, my sagacious and learned brother has
speculated correctly, then! He first stirred up a rebellion in the
Tyrol in the shrewdest manner, and he will now quiet the beloved
Tyrol, by becoming its sovereign and ruler."

"Your majesty," exclaimed the count, in dismay, "it is not the noble
Archduke John who conceived such plans, but the Emperor Napoleon."

"He seems at least to keep up a touching understanding with my
brothers. I should like to know whether his generosity will not
provide crowns and states for the other arch-dukes too. And then,
you have not told me yet what he intends to do with me after hurling
me from the throne. Does he want to keep me confined like the King
of Spain and Pope Pius, or will he permit me to live as a refugee in
foreign lands, like the King of Naples?"

"Your majesty, Napoleon only dreamed of the future, and dreams never
are logical and consistent. I myself listened to his dreams in
silence, and they amused me as the merry fairy-stories of my
childhood did - fairy-stories invented only for the purpose of making
us laugh."

"Yes, let us laugh at them," exclaimed the emperor, bursting into
loud laughter, which, however, sounded so unnatural that Count Bubna
did not join in it. "And now," said the emperor, whose face suddenly
became very gloomy, "having spoken enough about Bonaparte's funny
dreams, let us turn to more serious matters. What are the terms on

Online LibraryL. MühlbachAndreas Hofer → online text (page 33 of 43)