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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



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