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requested my secret agent, Baron von Thugut, to ask me if I would
consent to a marriage between him and an archduchess of Austria. I
replied in the affirmative, and this agreement forms one of the
secret articles of the treaty of peace."

"An archduchess of Austria is to become the consort of the French
despot!" cried John, in dismay. "And who, your majesty, is to be
sacrificed to the Minotaur? Which of your sisters or cousins will
you let him have?"

"None of my cousins or sisters," said Francis, calmly, "but my
eldest daughter, Maria Louisa, is to become the consort of the
Emperor Napoleon."

"Maria Louisa!," cried John, with an expression of dismay. "Maria
Louisa!"

And John staggered back several steps, as pale as a corpse, and
grasped the back of the chair in order not to sink to the floor.

Francis did not seem to perceive this. "Yes, Maria Louisa will be
Napoleon's second consort," he said. "Every thing is settled
already, and the marriage will take place next March. I think,
brother, you may stand proxy for Napoleon on that occasion."

The archduke gave a start, and pressed his hands to his temples as
if he were afraid lest this dreadful "family secret" would burst his
head.

"Your majesty," he said, in a tremulous and almost inaudible voice,
"I beg leave to withdraw."

Without waiting for a reply, the archduke turned and left the room
with a tottering step, and leaning now and then against the wall in
order not to sink to the floor.

The emperor looked after him, smilingly. "It seems Hudelist was not
mistaken," he said. "My dear brother really loved Maria Louisa, and
intended to become my son-in-law. What a nice idea! But he must give
it up now. He - Holy Virgin! What noise is that in the anteroom? What
fell to the floor there?"

The emperor stepped quickly to the door and opened it. "What is the
matter here" he asked.

"Your majesty," exclaimed the footman, who hastened to him, "the
archduke fainted and fell to the floor, striking with his head
against the corner of a chair, and wounding his forehead, which is
bleeding copiously."

"Well, I hope it is only a slight scratch," said the emperor,
composedly. "Carry the archduke to his bedchamber and send for my
surgeon. I will afterward call on him myself."

Without taking any further notice of the archduke, the emperor
returned into his cabinet and closed the door after him.

"He fainted," said Francis, triumphantly. "Henceforth he shall be
entirely powerless. No one shall have any power here but myself. Ah,
I have broken his pride, bent his will, and prostrated him at my
feet. All my brothers shall bow to me, acknowledge me as their
master, and obey me. Ah, I believe I have played a bad trick on my
brothers. The Archduke John will not become Duke of Tyrol; the
Grand-duke Ferdinand of Wuertzburg will not be Emperor of Austria,
for Napoleon will become my son-in-law, and he will take good care
not to deprive his father-in-law of his throne. I alone am, and
shall remain, Emperor of Austria."


CHAPTER XL.

DREADFUL TIDINGS.


All the Tyrolese were in the highest excitement and terror. Pale
faces were to be seen everywhere, and nothing was heard but the
anxious query: "Is it true? Has our emperor really made peace with
Bonaparte? Is it true that he has abandoned us entirely, and that we
are to become again subjects of France and Bavaria?"

And some, of the timid and disheartened sighed: "It is true! We read
so yesterday in the Innspruck Gazette, and the Viceroy of Italy has
sent two messengers through the Puster valley to proclaim that the
Emperors of Austria and France concluded a treaty of peace on the
14th of October, and that the Tyrolese are to lay down their arms
and become again subjects of France and Bavaria."

"It is not true!" cried the bold and courageous. "The Emperor
Francis has not made peace with Bonaparte; and if he has, he has
certainly not abandoned the Tyrol, but stipulated that we remain
with Austria; for he pledged us his word that we, should, and the
emperor will redeem his promise."

"It is not true; there is no peace, and we are still at war with the
Bavarians and French," cried Joseph Speckbacher, "and we will
continue the war."

"Yes, we will," shouted his brave men.

And as Speckbacher said, so did Andreas Hofer, so did Joachim
Haspinger, so did Anthony Wallner, Jacob Sieberer, and all the
intrepid commanders of the sharpshooters.

Led by these heroic men, the Tyrolese formed again a large army,
which took position on Mount Isel, and awaited there the Bavarians
who were marching upon Innspruck under the command of the crown
prince Louis.

This time, however, the Tyrolese were not victorious; the Bavarians
expelled them from Innspruck, and, on the 29th of October, the crown
prince Louis of Bavaria made his triumphal entry into the city,
after a bloody battle of four days' duration on Mount Isel and near
the Judenstein. A part of the Tyrolese forces remained on Mount
Isel, and another part hastened with unbroken courage to other
regions, to meet the armies of the enemy and drive them beyond the
frontiers of the country.

Anthony Wallner returned with his sharpshooters to the Puster
valley, and advanced thence against General Rusca, who was coming up
from Carinthia with his corps; he intended to defend the frontiers
of his country, against him and General Baraguay d'Hilliers, who was
also approaching with a strong force.

Joseph Speckbacher marched his intrepid men to the Ziller valley and
the Muhlbach Pass, where he united with Joachim Haspinger, and
advanced with him upon the enemy.

All were in good spirits, and no one believed in the dreadful
tidings which at first had frightened them all so much: no one
believed that peace had been made.

Andreas Hofer himself thought the news was false. He had remained
courageous and undaunted in spite of the disastrous battle on Mount
Isel, and he sent messengers throughout the country, calling upon
all able-bodied men to take up arms and attack the enemy, who had
invaded the Tyrol once more. He was still encamped with his army
near Mount Isel, and had established his headquarters at Steinach.
The crown prince of Bavaria had sent to him hither two
plenipotentiaries, who informed him that peace had really been
concluded, and that the Tyrolese had no course left but submission.
But Andreas Hofer replied to these plenipotentiaries, shaking his
head indignantly, "That is a mean lie; the Emperor Francis, our
beloved master, will never abandon his loyal Tyrolese. He pledged us
his word, and he will keep it. Your intention is to deceive us, but
you cannot catch us by such stratagems. We believe in the emperor
and the good God, and neither of them will ever abandon us!"

And Andreas Hofer returned to his room with a calm smile and went to
bed.

In the dead of night, however, he was suddenly aroused from his
sleep. Cajetan Doeninger stood at his bedside and informed him that
the intendant of the Puster valley, Baron von Worndle, had arrived
with an envoy of the Emperor Francis, Baron von Lichtenthurn, and
both wished urgently to see the commander-in-chief.

"I will admit them," said Hofer, rising hastily; "God grant that
they are the bearers of good news!"

He dressed himself quickly and followed Doeninger into the room,
where he found the two envoys and several members of his suite.

"Now tell me, gentlemen, what news do you bring to us?" asked Hofer,
shaking hands with the two envoys.

"No good news, commander-in-chief," sighed Baron von Worndle, "but
there is no use in complaining; we must submit patiently to what
cannot be helped. The Emperor Francis has mane peace with France."

"Do you sing in that strain too, Mr. Intendant?" asked Andreas, with
a mournful smile. "I shall never believe it until I see it in black
and white, and until the emperor or the dear Archduke John informs
me of it."

"I bring it to you in black and white," exclaimed Baron von
Lichtenthurn, drawing a paper from his bosom and handing it to
Andreas. "Here is a letter from the Archduke John, which I am to
deliver to you."

Hofer hastily seized the paper, which contained that proclamation
which the Archduke John had written at Totis, and read it again and
again slowly and attentively. While he was doing so, his cheeks
turned pale, his breath issued heavily and painfully from his
breast, and the paper rustled in his trembling hands.

"It is impossible! I cannot believe it!" he exclaimed, mournfully,
gazing upon the paper. "The Archduke John did not write this. Just
look at it, his seal is not affixed to the paper. Sir, how can you
say that this letter is from the Archduke John? Where is the seal?
Where is the address?"

"Well, it is no private letter," said Baron von Lichtenthurn; "it is
an open letter, a proclamation, which I am instructed to show to
everybody in the Tyrol. A proclamation cannot contain a seal and an
address. But the Archduke John sent it; he himself wrote every word
of it."

"I do not believe it!" cried Andreas, in a triumphant voice; "no, I
do not believe it. You are a liar, and want to betray us. Look at
him, my friends; see how pale he turns, and how he trembles! For I
tell you he has a bad conscience. Bring me the Archduke John's seal,
and then I will believe that the paper is from him. But, as it is, I
look upon it as a cunning device got up by the enemy to entrap me.
Arrest him; he must confess all. I will not allow myself to be
caught by cunning and treachery!" [Footnote: Andreas Hofer's own
words. - See Hormayr's "Andreas Hofer," vol. ii, p. 490.]

He laid his heavy hand upon the shoulder of the baron, who sank to
the floor, uttering a loud cry of distress, and fell into fearful
convulsions.

"See!" cried Andreas, "that is the punishment of Heaven! The hand of
God has struck him. He is a traitor, who intended to sell us to the
French."

"No, he is an honorable man, and has told you the truth," said Baron
von Worndle, gravely. "Your violent accusation frightened him; and
he fell into an epileptic fit. He is affected with that disease."
[Footnote: Ibid.]

He and some of the bystanders raised the unfortunate baron from the
ground, and carried him into the adjoining room. He then returned to
Andreas, who was walking up and down with a hasty step, and
murmuring to himself, "I cannot believe it! The Archduke John did
not write it. His hand would have withered while writing it. He did
not do it."

"Yes, Andreas, he did," said Worndle, gravely; "he was obliged to
submit, as we all shall have to do. The Archduke John was obliged to
yield to the will of his emperor as we shall have to do. The treaty
of peace has been concluded. There is no doubt of it."

"Lord God! the treaty of peace has been concluded, and the emperor
abandons us?" cried Andreas.

"The emperor, it seems, was unable to do any thing for the Tyrol,"
said Worndle in a low voice. "He had to consent that the Tyrol
should be restored to the French and Bavarians."

"But that is impossible!" cried Andreas, despairingly. "He pledged
us his word, his sacred word, that he would never consent to a peace
that would detach the Tyrol from Austria. How can you now insult the
dear emperor by saying that he has broken his word?"

"He has not broken his word, but he was unable to keep it. Look,
commander-in-chief, I bring you another letter, to which, as you
see, is affixed a large imperial seal, the seal of the Viceroy of
Italy, who wrote the letter to you and all the Tyrolese."

"Read it," exclaimed Andreas, mournfully; "I cannot, my eyes are
filled with tears. Read it to me, sir."

Worndle read as follows:

"To the people of the Tyrol: His majesty the Emperor of the French,
King of Italy, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine, my
august father and sovereign, and his majesty, the Emperor of
Austria, have made peace. Peace, therefore, reigns everywhere around
you. You are the only people which does not enjoy its blessings.
Seduced by foreign instigations, you took up arms against your
government and overthrew it. The melancholy consequences of your
seditious course have overtaken you. Terror reigns now in your
towns, idleness and misery in your fields, and discord and disorder
are to be found in all parts of the country. His majesty the emperor
and king, profoundly moved by your wretched condition, and the
proofs of repentance which some of you have manifested to him, has
consented in the treaty to forgive your errors. I bring you peace
and forgiveness, but I warn you of the fact, that you will be
forgiven only if you return of your own accord to law and order, lay
down your arms, and offer no longer any resistance whatever. As
commander-in-chief of the armies surrounding you, I shall accept
your submission or compel you to surrender. Commissioners will
precede the armies; they have been instructed to listen to whatever
complaints and grievances you may wish to prefer. But, do not forget
that these commissioners are authorized to listen to you only after
you have laid down your arms. Tyrolese! I promise that you shall
obtain justice if your complaints and grievances are well-grounded.
Headquarters at Villach, October 25, 1809."

"EUGENE NAPOLEON." [Footnote: Hormayr's "Andreas Hofer," vol. 1., p.
490.]

Baron von Worndle had long since ceased to read, and still Andreas
Hofer stood motionless, his hands folded on his breast, his head
thrown back, and his eyes turned toward heaven. All gazed in
respectful silence upon that tall, imposing form which seemed frozen
by grief, and at that pale, mournful face, and those pious eyes,
which seemed to implore consolation and salvation from heaven.

At last Doeninger ventured to put his hand softly on Hofer's arm.
"Awake, dear commander-in-chief," he said in a low voice, "awake
from your grief. These gentlemen here are waiting for an answer.
Tell them what you think - " "What I think?" cried Hofer, giving a
start and dropping his eyes slowly. "What I think? I think that we
are poor, unhappy men, who have vainly risked our property and our
blood, our liberty and our lives. Tell me, then, my friends, is it
possible that the Emperor Francis, whom we all loved so dearly, and
who pledged us his word so solemnly and often, has abandoned us
after all? Cajetan, do you believe it?"

"It is in black and white here," said Doeninger, in his habitual
laconic style, pointing to the proclamation of the Archduke John.
"It is the archduke's handwriting; I am familiar with it. You need
no longer question its authenticity. Peace has been concluded."

"Peace has been concluded, the emperor has abandoned his Tyrol, the
Tyrol is lost!" cried Andreas, in a loud outburst of grief; and his
long-restrained tears streamed from his eyes. Andreas was not
ashamed of them. He threw himself on a chair, buried his face in his
hands, and wept aloud.

"The Tyrol is lost," he sobbed; "all my dear countrymen are in
profound distress, and, moreover, in the utmost danger; our beloved,
beautiful country will have to shed rivers of blood, and nothing
will be heard but wails and lamentations. For the emperor has
abandoned us, the enemy will re-enter the country, kill and burn,
and wreak a terrible revenge upon our people! Lord God," he
exclaimed all at once, "can I not do any thing, then, for my dear
country? Tell me, my friends, can I not do any thing to avert this
great calamity and save the lives of my dear countrymen?"

"Yes, Andreas," said Baron von Worndle, "you can do a great deal for
the Tyrol and your countrymen. You can prevent bloodshed, soften the
vindictiveness of the enemy, and induce him to spare the vanquished
and wreak no revenge on the disarmed. Write a proclamation to the
Tyrolese, admonish them to keep quiet, and order them to lay down
their arms. Return yourself to your home, your inn, and you will
have done on this mournful day more for the Tyrol than you have been
able to do for it up to this time; for you will thereby save the
Tyrol from untold disasters, which will surely befall the country if
you resume hostilities against enemies who are a hundred times
superior to us. It is impossible for us to withstand them
successfully. Their columns, well provided with artillery, are
moving upon all sides, and the whole Tyrol, as the Viceroy of Italy
writes, is surrounded. We have no course left but submission. Order
the Tyrolese, therefore, to submit, set a good example to them
yourself, and the Tyrol is saved, and no more blood will be shed."

"No more blood will be shed!" repeated Andreas Hofer, joyously.
"Well, then, I see that you are right, and that we have no course
left but submission. It is true, the emperor has abandoned us, but
the good God will still stand by us; and on seeing that we are
humble and submissive, He will have mercy upon us. Sit down,
Cajetan; I will dictate a letter to you. To whom must I write on
behalf of my beloved country?"

"Write to General Drouet," said Doeninger. "It was he who wrote to
you yesterday from Innspruck, informing you of the conclusion of
peace, and promising that, if you and all the Tyrolese would submit,
no harm should befall any one. You refused to answer his letter
because you did not believe him."

"I did not believe him," said Andreas, gently, "for I still believed
in my emperor. But I see now that General Drouet was right; I will,
therefore, write to him, and recommend my country and the good and
brave Tyrolese to his mercy. Take up the pen, Cajetan, and write."

And Andreas Hofer dictated in a low, tremulous voice, often
interrupted by sighs which issued from his breast like the groans of
a dying man, a letter to General Drouet, in which he promised in
touching words that the Tyrolese would lay down their arms, and said
they would trust, for pardon and oblivion of the past, to the
magnanimity of Napoleon, whose footsteps were guided by a superior
power, which it was no longer permitted them to resist.

"There," he said, after convincing himself that Doeninger had
written exactly what be had dictated, "now give me the pen, Cajetan.
I will sign it myself."

He bent over the table, and wrote quickly what he had so often
written under his decrees, "Andreas Hofer, commander-in-chief of the
Tyrol."

But then he gave a start, and contemplated his signature long and
musingly. Heaving a profound sigh, and casting a mournful glance
toward heaven, he took up the pen a second time, and added the word
"late," slowly and with a trembling hand, to his title "commander-
in-chief of the Tyrol." [Footnote: "Gallery of Heroes: Andreas
Hofer," p. 173.]

"Now come, Cajetan," he exclaimed, throwing down the pen, as if it
was a viper which had wounded him, "come, Cajetan. I will go to my
sharpshooters and exhort them to disband, and afterward I will
return with you to my inn in the Passeyr valley, in order to set a
good example to all, and show them how to submit quietly and
patiently."

And Andreas Hofer acted accordingly. He ordered his men to disband,
and after they had obeyed his order in sullen silence, he himself,
accompanied only by his faithful Cajetan Doeninger, went back to his
home.

But neither the joyous welcome, with which his wife, faithful Anna
Gertrude, received him, nor the jubilant shouts of his children,
could arouse Andreas Hofer from his mournful brooding, or bring a
smile to his lips. He did not rejoice at his return to his dear
ones; he paid no attention to his business, he did not go to the
stables and barns as he used to do; but he sat hanging his head, his
hands folded on his knees, staring at the floor, and sighing from
time to time, "My poor country! How could the emperor abandon us?"

Only when Cajetan Doeninger was not with him, Andreas Hofer became
uneasy; he glanced around anxiously and called for his secretary;
when the latter hastened to him, he held out his hand and said in a
low, tremulous voice, "Cajetan, do not leave me. I always think I
may have something to write yet, and it seems to me as though what I
dictated to you at Steinach, declaring my readiness to submit, were
not the last of my official papers. Something else must come yet, -
yes, something else. I know it, for this state of affairs cannot
last. Therefore, Cajetan, stay with me that you may be ready and
able to write when the hour has come."

Cajetan stayed with him; both sat together in silence, and absorbed
in their gloomy reflections, and the days passed slowly and
mournfully.

It was on the afternoon of the fifth day, and Andreas Hofer sat in
silence, as usual, in the gloomy room. Every thing was still
without. All at once this profound silence was broken by a hum of
many voices and loud noise.

Hofer looked up and listened. "That sounds as if we were still at
war, and as if my sharpshooters were marching up," he said.

"Andreas Hofer, commander-in-chief of the Tyrol!" shouted loud
voices under the windows.

Hofer jumped up. "Who calls me?" he shouted, in a powerful voice.

At this moment the door was thrown open violently, and four
mountaineers, armed with their rifles, came in. Hofer saw through
the open door that the yard in front of the house was thronged with
peasants, and all looked with flashing eyes through the door at
Hofer; and they shouted now, "Andreas Hofer, commander-in-chief of
the Tyrol, come with us, come!"

Andreas Hofer seemed all at once animated by new life; his eyes shot
fire, his form was drawn up to its full height, and his head rose
again proudly between his powerful shoulders.

"What do you want of me, my dear countrymen?" he asked, going to
meet them.

One of the four sharpshooters who had entered the room now came
forward, and placed himself with a defiant face in front of Hofer.

"We want you," he said. "Three thousand French soldiers are marching
across the Janfen. There is great excitement in the Puster valley,
and some fighting has taken place. Anthony Wallner has driven the
Bavarians long since across the frontier, and Speckbacher and the
Capuchin have marched to the Muhlbach Pass in order to attack Rusca.
And why are we to keep quiet, then? Why are we to allow the French
to enter the Passeyr valley?"

"We will not allow them to do it!" shouted the peasants outside.
"No, we will not allow the French to enter the Passeyr valley."

"You hear it, commander-in-chief," said the first speaker. "We are
all ready and determined. Now say what we are to do with the French.
Will you do any thing or not?"

"Yes, will you do any thing or not?" repeated the peasants,
penetrating with furious gestures into the room.

"If you do not want to do any thing," cried the peasant, raising his
rifle menacingly, "my rifle is loaded for you as well as for any
Frenchman. You commenced the insurrection, now put it through."
[Footnote: Loritza, "Bilder and Erinnerungen aus Tyrol's
Freiheitskampfen von 1809," p. 14.]

"But you know, countrymen, that I cannot!" cried Hofer. "The emperor
has made peace with Bonaparte and abandoned us. What course have we
left but that of submission? We must yield, or the Tyrol will be
ruined entirely."

"But we do not want to submit," shouted the peasants, furiously.
"And the whole country is of our opinion; no one is willing to
submit. We will die rather than submit."

"Issue another proclamation calling out the able-bodied men!" said
the first speaker.

"Yes, issue another proclamation, commander-in-chief," shouted the
crowd. "We will fight, we must fight!"

"And you shall and must be our leader!" exclaimed the peasant,
laying his heavy hand on Hofer's shoulder. "We will compel you to go
with us or kill you as a traitor. Issue another proclamation. We men
are still the same as before, and so is our cause; now you must
likewise be the same Andreas Hofer, commander-in-chief of the
Tyrol!"

"Yes," exclaimed Andreas, with a radiant face, drawing a deep
breath, as if relieved from an oppressive burden, "yes, I will be
the same as before. This state of affairs cannot continue. We must
fight; we had better die than lead such a life. Go, Doeninger, go;
write a proclamation!"

"Hurrah! Long live our commander-in-chief," shouted the peasants,
triumphantly; "long live our dear faithful Andreas Hofer!"

"I thank you, my dear countrymen," said Andreas; "I am your leader
now, and we will fight again. But do not hold me responsible for the
events of the future. You must never forget that you compelled me to
resume war. I intended to submit humbly and patiently, but you would
not allow me to do so, and dragged me forcibly from my retirement.
The bloody struggle will commence again - God grant us protection,



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