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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
upon it now that we two shall remain yet a long while together, and
that, since we are going to have peace in the country, we shall rule
together in tranquillity and harmony. There, take the paper now to
your room, and read it attentively, that you may become thoroughly
familiar with it; above all things, do not forget the secret
articles, for you know they are always the most important of all.
Pray return to me in an hour from now; we will then work together."

"Sire, I shall be here punctually," said Count Metternich, bowing
deeply, and walking backward to the door.

"I believe he WILL be here punctually," said the emperor, smiling,
after Metternich had left the room. "He is afraid, if he should not
be promptly at my door, it might never open to him again. I want
them all to feel that I am their master and emperor - I alone! Now I
am through with Metternich, and it is my brother's turn. I will give
him to-day a lesson which he will not forget all his life long."

The emperor rang the bell. "Has my brother, the Archduke John, not
yet arrived?" he asked the footman who entered the room.

"Your majesty, the archduke has just arrived, and is waiting for
your orders."

"I request my brother to come to me immediately," said the emperor.
After the footman had glided noiselessly out of the room, Francis
walked repeatedly up and down, and his face assumed a gloomy
expression. "He shall learn now that I am his master," he murmured;
"I will break his haughty spirit, and humiliate him so deeply that
he will never think any more of plotting against me."

At this moment the door opened, and the Archduke John, whom the
footman announced, entered the room. He looked pale and sad; the
last months, full of care and grief, had gnawed deeply into his
soul, and deprived his eyes of their fire, and his form of its
youthful fulness.

The emperor saw it, and a sardonic smile illuminated for a moment
his features, which, however, quickly resumed their gloomy
expression. "Ah, brother," exclaimed the emperor, greeting the
archduke with a slight nod of his head, "we have not seen each other
for a long time; hence, I sent for you. I wish to communicate
important news to you. The war is at an end. I have concluded peace
with the Emperor of the French."

"Peace?" asked John, incredulously. "Your majesty condescends to
jest, and that is a good symptom of your majesty's excellent
health."

"I never jest with you," said the emperor, dryly. "I tell you in
dead earnest, I have concluded peace with Napoleon. Austria loses a
great deal by this peace; she cedes one-third of her territory, and
pays, moreover, besides the contributions imposed heretofore, the
sum of eighty-six millions of franc." [Footnote: Napoleon signed the
treaty of Schoenbrunn on the 14th of October 1809.]

"But what of the Tyrol?" asked John. "I am sure your majesty will
keep the faithful Tyrol?"

"No," said Francis, looking his brother full in the face, "the Tyrol
will be divided; one part of it will be restored to Bavaria; the
other part will be given to the Viceroy of Italy, and become a
province of French Italy."

"That is impossible!" cried John, in dismay; "that cannot be your
will - "

"And why not? Why is it impossible?" asked the emperor, sternly.

"Your majesty," said John, facing his brother boldly, "you pledged
your word to the Tyrolese solemnly, in the face of God and the whole
world, that you would not conclude a peace which would separate the
Tyrol from your monarchy."

"Ah, you dare to remind me of it?" cried Francis, in a threatening
tone.

"Yes, I do," said John, vehemently; "and I have a right to do so,
for it is I who pledged my honor that the imperial promise would be
redeemed. It was I who stirred up the insurrection of the Tyrolese,
who repeated the promises of their beloved emperor to them; it was I
who called upon them in the emperor's name to organize a conspiracy
and rebellion, and who induced them to draw the sword and fight for
their liberty. Your majesty, thousands of the noblest Tyrolese have
lost their lives in this contest; thousands lie wounded and in great
pain; the soil of the Tyrol, formerly so tranquil and peaceful, is
reeking yet with gore; the fields are not cultivated; where
prosperity formerly reigned, there is now distress and starvation;
where peace and tranquillity prevailed, there rages an insurrection;
where merry and happy people used to live, and where nothing was
heard formerly but the ringing notes of the Ranz des Vaches and the
merry Jodlers of the herdsmen, there are to be seen now only pale,
mournful invalids, tottering along painfully, and nothing is heard
but the booming of artillery and the lamentations of the
impoverished and starving mountaineers. And yet, despite all their
disasters and privations, the faithful Tyrolese stand firm, for
their hearts are full of hope and love for their emperor. They
risked all in order to become Austrians again; and even now, when
the deplorable armistice has compelled your troops to sheathe their
swords, the faithful and confiding Tyrolese continue their struggle
for their emperor and the liberty of their beloved country. All
Europe gazes with astonishment and admiration upon this heroic
people, which alone is yet courageous enough to resist the French
despot, which alone does not yet bow to his decrees, and still draws
its sword against him, while all Europe is crouching before him in
the dust. Oh, your majesty cannot and will not abandon this faithful
people, which loves you and believes in you. It would be high
treason to think your majesty capable of such a step, for you
pledged your word to the Tyrolese, and never will an Emperor of
Austria break his word and incur the disgrace of perjuring himself."

The emperor uttered a cry of rage, and, entirely forgetful of his
assumed calmness, rushed upon the archduke with flashing eyes and
uplifted arm.

"You dare to insult me!" he cried. "You are impudent enough to
charge me with perjury! You - "

The archduke on seeing his brother so close before him, furious and
with clinched fist, started back a few steps. "Your majesty," he
said, "I am sure you do not intend to insult your brother. Pray take
your hand away, for if it should touch my face, my forehead, I
should be obliged to forget that you are the emperor, that you are
my brother, and should demand satisfaction of you."

"The emperor would not give satisfaction to a rebel," said Francis,
dropping his arm slowly; "he would crush the rebel by a word, and
deliver the traitor into the hands of his judges."

"Well, then, do so," exclaimed John; "punish me, let me expiate with
my blood the boldness with which I reminded you of the sacred
promise which you gave to the Tyrolese. But do not forget your word;
do not abandon the faithful Tyrol; do not destroy the only hope of
these honest, innocent children of nature, who confide so touchingly
in their emperor! Oh, your majesty, let us both forget the vehement
words which anger and grief caused us to utter just now! I implore
your majesty's forgiveness - I confess that I sinned grievously
against my emperor. But now have mercy in your turn! See, I bow to
you, I kneel down before you, and implore you, by your imperial
honor and in the name of the Tyrol, do not abandon the Tyrol and its
commander-in-chief, Andreas Hofer, and do not forget your solemn
promise that you would never consent to a treaty of peace that would
not forever incorporate the Tyrol with your states. You want to make
peace with Napoleon; but the treaty has not been proclaimed yet, the
world does not know of it yet, and it is still possible for your
majesty to break off the negotiations. Oh, do so, your majesty;
redeem the word you pledged to the Tyrol, and do not conclude a
peace which will not indissolubly unite the Tyrol with your
monarchy. Permit the Tyrolese at least to conquer their liberty once
more, and, after they have done so, protect it. Send me to the
Tyrol, permit me to place myself at the head of the brave
mountaineers, and you shall see that the Tyrolese will rise as one
man and fight with the courage of lions. Oh, your majesty, send me
to the Tyrol, that the Tyrolese and the whole world may learn that
the emperor of Austria keeps his word and does not abandon them, and
that he sends his own brother to them in order to tell them that he
will not consent to any peace which will not incorporate their
country with Austria!"

The emperor burst into loud and scornful laughter. "Ah, you are very
shrewd, brother," he said; "you think I myself should give you
permission to go to the Tyrol and play there, with redoubled
splendor, your part as savior and liberator of the province. You
think I am ignorant of your nice little plan, and do not know why
you wish to go to the Tyrol, and what intentions you entertain in
regard to it. Yes, sir, I know all! I am aware of your plans. I know
that you are a revolutionist and rebel. You wanted to make yourself
sovereign of the Tyrol. That is the reason why you incited the
people to rebellion, and intrigued and plotted until the poor
peaceable peasants became insurgents and rebels against their
Bavarian king, and unfurled the banner of blood with frantic
fanaticism. You say thousands have fallen in the Tyrol in the
struggle for liberty; you say thousands lie wounded on the gory soil
of their native country; that prosperity has disappeared, and
poverty and starvation reign in the Tyrol? Well, then, all this is
your work; it is your fault. You stirred up the insurrection, and
committed the heavy crime of inciting a people to revolution. The
Tyrol belonged to Bavaria; the Tyrolese were subjects of the King of
Bavaria; nothing gave them the right to shake off the rule of their
king and choose another sovereign. And you think I should be so weak
as to approve of the bad example set by the Tyrolese, and encourage
the crimes committed by the revolutionists? You think I should
sanction your work and consecrate your traitorous schemes by
permitting you to go to the Tyrol in order to preach insurrection
once more, make yourself sovereign of the Tyrol, come to an
understanding with M. Bonaparte, and be recognized and confirmed by
him as Duke of Tyrol?"

"Brother," cried John, in dismay, "I - "

"Hush," interrupted the emperor, imperiously; "no one has a right to
say a word when I am speaking. I am not speaking to you as your
brother, but as your emperor. And as your emperor, I tell you now,
you will not go to the Tyrol, you will not dare to cross again the
frontiers of the Tyrol without my permission; and I promise you that
you will have to wait a long while for this permission. And as your
emperor I order you further to inform the Tyrolese that I have
concluded peace with France, and to call upon them to lay down their
arms and submit to their fate."

"Your majesty, never, never will I do that!" cried John.

"Oh, you think the good Tyrolese would then begin to doubt the
honesty of their adored archduke and withdraw from him their love,
which was to erect a throne for him?"

"No, your majesty," said John, looking him full in the face; "I mean
that I have pledged my word to protect the Tyrolese, and help and
succor them in their struggle for liberty and for their emperor, and
that I will not incur the disgrace of having cheated a whole people
and abused their confidence and love in the most revolting manner."

"Oh, you want to intimate to me once more that I have done so - that
I have abused the confidence and love of the Tyrolese in a revolting
manner?" asked the emperor, with a freezing smile. "No matter, keep
your opinion; but you shall surely obey me, and do it at once in my
presence. Seat yourself at my writing-table yonder. You are a
scholar, and know how to wield the pen quickly and skilfully. Write,
therefore. Inform the faithful Tyrolese that peace has been
concluded; order them to lay down their arms and submit obediently
to their new master."

"I cannot, brother," cried John, mournfully. "Have mercy upon me! I
cannot deliver a whole people to the executioner's axe. For, if you
withdraw your hand from the Tyrol, if you surrender it to the tender
mercies of the Bavarians and French, they will wreak a fearful
revenge on the Tyrolese for all the defeats and humiliations which
the heroic mountaineers have made them undergo."

"That will deter the mountaineers from entering into any more
conspiracies and revolutions, and teach them to be patient and
submissive; and they will thereby become an awful example to my own
subjects. Do not disobey me any longer. Seat yourself and write,
archduke!"

"No," cried John, vehemently, "your majesty may punish me as a
rebel, take my life, or sentence me to everlasting imprisonment, but
I cannot obey! I cannot write such a proclamation!"

"I shall not punish you as a rebel," said the emperor, shrugging his
shoulders; "I shall not take your life, I shall not sentence you to
everlasting imprisonment; but I will withdraw my hand entirely from
the Tyrol. I will not, as I had resolved and stipulated expressly,
give the fugitive Tyrolese, if they should succeed in crossing the
frontier, an asylum here in Austria, and protect them to the best of
my power; but I will deliver them as escaped criminals to their
legitimate sovereigns, that they may punish them according to their
deserts. Nor shall I, as I intended to do, stipulate in the treaty
of peace that the ancient constitution shall be confirmed and
guaranteed to the Tyrolese; nor shall I, finally, as I had resolved
to do, appoint a commission which will afford relief to the
fugitives who escape with their families to Austria. It will be your
fault if the poor Tyrolese are deprived of these boons, and you will
expose the deserted people to the most fearful persecutions."

"No, your majesty; no one shall ever be able to say that," cried
John, profoundly moved. "I will obey your order and draw up the
proclamation."

He hastened to the writing-table, and, throwing himself on a chair
in front of it, uttered a deep groan and dropped his head on his
breast as though he were dying.

"Well, do not reflect so long, brother," said Francis, "but write!"

John took up the pen, and, restraining the tears which filled his
eyes, wrote quickly a few lines. He then rose as pale as a corpse,
and, approaching the emperor slowly, handed the paper to him.

"Your majesty," he said, solemnly, "I have complied with your order.
I inform the Tyrolese that peace has been concluded, and exhort them
to submit. Will you now fulfil the conditions, on account of which I
have written this to the Tyrolese? Will you grant an asylum here in
Austria to those who shall succeed in escaping their tormentors and
executioners? Will you appoint an imperial commission which will
afford relief to the fugitives and their families?, And last, will
you see to it that the ancient constitution is guaranteed to the
Tyrolese in the treaty of peace you?"

"I pledged you my word that I would do so, dear brother" said the
emperor, smiling; "and you yourself said a while ago, 'Never will an
Emperor of Austria break his word and incur the disgrace of
perjuring himself.' Well, read to me now what you have written. I
should like to hear it from your own lips."

The archduke bowed and read in a tremulous voice:

"Dear, brave Tyrolese: The news that peace has been concluded will
soon reach you. The emperor has ordered me to confirm this
intelligence to you. The emperor would have done every thing to
fulfil the wishes of the Tyrol, but, however great an interest the
emperor takes in the fate of the honest and excellent inhabitants of
that province, he has had to submit to the stern necessity of making
peace. I inform you of this by order of his majesty, with the
addition that it is his majesty's wish that the Tyrolese should keep
quiet and not sacrifice themselves needlessly."

"The Archduke John."

"H'm!" said the emperor, taking the paper from John's hand and
contemplating it attentively, "it is written quite laconically
indeed. But, no matter, you have complied with my order and done
your duty."

"I thank your majesty for this acknowledgment. And now that I have
done my duty, I request your majesty to be so gracious as to dismiss
me from your service, and permit me to retire from the court into
private life. I feel weak and exhausted, and need repose. Moreover,
since we have peace now, my services are superfluous and may be
easily dispensed with."

"And you wish me to dismiss you very speedily, do you not?" asked
the emperor, sarcastically. "You would like to retire as quickly as
possible into private life, that the whole world, and, above all,
the dear Tyrolese, may perceive that the noble and beloved Archduke
John is dissatisfied with the treaty, and has therefore withdrawn in
anger from the court and service of his emperor? I am sorry that I
cannot afford you this satisfaction. You will remain in the service;
I do not accept your resignation. I do not permit you to retire into
private life. You should devote your abilities to the state; you are
not allowed to withhold your services from it at this juncture."

"Your majesty, I can no longer be useful to the state. I am
exhausted to death. I repeat my request in the most urgent manner:
dismiss me from the service, and permit me to retire into private
life."

"What!" cried Francis, vehemently. "Your emperor has informed you of
his will, and you dare to oppose it? That is a violation of
subordination, for which the emperor, as supreme commander of his
army, would punish his rebellious general rigorously, but for the
fact that this general unfortunately is his brother. I repeat it, I
do not accept your resignation. You remain in the service; I demand
it as your general-in-chief; I remind you of the oath of allegiance
which you have sworn to me, your emperor and master."

"Your majesty does right in reminding me of the oath I took," said
the archduke, with freezing coldness. "It is true, I swore that
oath; and as I am in the habit of keeping my word, and as it is
disgraceful for any one to break his word and perjure himself, I
shall fulfil my oath. Hence, I shall obey my emperor and general-in-
chief, and not leave the service. But now I ask leave of your
majesty to withdraw for to-day, if your majesty has nothing further
to say to me."

"Yes, I have something else to say to you, my dear brother," said
the emperor, smilingly. "I will give you a proof of the great
confidence which I repose in you, and with which I count upon your
discretion. I will communicate to you a family secret which is known
at present only to the Emperor Napoleon, Baron von Thugut, who acted
as my agent on this occasion, and myself."

"What!" asked John, in surprise; "the Emperor Napoleon is aware of a
family secret of your majesty?"

"As it concerns himself, he must be aware of it," said the emperor.
"Napoleon intends to marry a second time."

"A second time? Has his first wife, the Empress Josephine, then,
died suddenly?"

"No, she still lives, and is acting yet at this moment in Paris as
the emperor's legitimate consort. But Napoleon, immediately after
his return from Germany, will annul this marriage, which was never
consecrated by a priest; he will divorce himself solemnly from his
wife, and have then the right of marrying a second time. He



Online LibraryL. MühlbachAndreas Hofer → online text (page 38 of 43)