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they may remove the generalissimo to another room and administer
medicine to him."

John rushed to the door, and soon the servants and the physician,
who always accompanied the Archduke Charles, hastened into the room.
They lifted with practised hands the archduke, who was still
writhing in convulsions, and carried him tenderly out of the room.

John, who, with touching solicitude, had remained near the sufferer,
would have accompanied him; but a word from the emperor called him
back.

"Stay a moment, archduke," said Francis; "the Archduke Charles only
has his fits, and his servants will take care of him. I have yet to
speak a few words with you. This will be a formidable war, brother,
and we must see to it that it breaks out at the same time in all
quarters of our empire, and that the people rise with one accord and
take up arms. We have made our preparations everywhere, and our
emissaries have done their duty; they have everywhere enlisted
friends of our cause, and established committees which have made all
necessary dispositions for the defence of the country. You yourself
sent your emissary, Baron von Hormayr, to your beloved Tyrol; if I
am correctly informed, he has already returned to Vienna."

"Your majesty, he arrived here this morning," said John, looking at
his brother with an air of surprise and even terror.

This did not escape the emperor, and a smile of satisfaction lit up
his face.

"You see, my agents serve me very well, and I am aware of all that
is going on," said Francis, gravely. "I know, too, that Baron von
Hormayr has returned to Vienna not alone, but accompanied by some
good friends. I believe you did not come here to give me your
advice, but to beg permission to receive your Tyrolese friends at
your palace to-night."

"What?" asked John, surprised; "your majesty is aware of this, too?"

"I have told you already that my agents serve me very well. Let this
be a warning to you not to do or undertake any thing that you would
like to conceal from me. I know that Andreas Hofer is here, to
concert with you some sort of plan for the insurrection of the
Tyrol. Under the present circumstances I permit you to do so, for it
is really important that the German and Italian Tyrol should rise;
and as we are going to have war, we will strive to recover our
Tyrol. But we must proceed cautiously, and the world must not find
out that we instigated the Tyrolese to rise in arms. That would be
setting a bad example to the other nations of our empire. We may at
times profit by popular insurrections, but must beware of letting
the world know that we ourselves brought them about. Hence, I do not
want to know any thing of your Tyrolese, and shall not grant them an
audience. But I permit you to do so, and you may tell these brave
Tyrolese, too, that I should be glad if they would become again my
dear subjects."

"Your majesty," exclaimed John, joyously, "these words of their
emperor will be the signal for them to rise as one man, take their
rifles, and expel the Evil One, that is to say, the Bavarians."

"I shall be glad to see the Tyrolese do so, and, moreover, do it in
time," said the emperor, nodding his head. "Repeat my words to
Andreas Hofer, brother John, and pledge him my word that, if we
recover the Tyrol this time, we shall never give it up again. But
Andreas Hofer must behave with great prudence, and not show himself
to the public here, but keep in the background, that the police may
wink at his presence in Vienna, and act as though they did not see
him and his friends. And now, brother, farewell, and inquire if the
generalissimo has recovered from his fit. It would be bad, indeed,
if these fits should befall him once in the midst of a battle. Well,
let us hope for the best for us all, and especially for the Tyrol.
You have now a great task before you, John, for you will receive a
command; you shall assist the Tyrolese in shaking off the foreign
yoke."

"Oh, my lord and emperor," exclaimed John, with a radiant face and
fiery glance, "how kind and gracious you are to-day! It is the heart
of a brother that speaks out of your mouth - of a brother who wishes
to make me happy, and knows how to do so. Yes, send me with a corps
to the assistance of the Tyrolese; let me bring freedom and
salvation to my beloved mountaineers. That is a task which fills me
with boundless ecstasy, and for which I shall always be grateful and
devoted to you, brother."

"Be devoted to your emperor, archduke," said Francis, smiling; "the
brothers will get along well enough; they have nothing to do with
politics and public affairs. Farewell, John. But, remember, we shall
meet again to-day, for I shall summon the ministers and generals to
a consultation, and you will, of course, be present. Once more,
then, farewell!"

He nodded repeatedly to the archduke and left the room with unusual
quickness. The emperor walked hastily and with a gloomy face through
the adjoining room, and entered his cabinet, the door of which he
closed rather noisily. "I am to let him bring freedom and salvation
to his beloved mountaineers," murmured Francis to himself - "to HIS
mountaineers! I believe he would be glad if they really were his,
and if he could become King of the Tyrol. Well, we shall see. I have
lulled his suspicion by permitting him to hold intercourse with the
Tyrolese, and concert plans with them. We shall see how far my
brother will go, and what his gratitude and devotion will amount to.
It is a troublesome burden for me to have such dangerously ambitious
and renowned brothers, against whom I must be constantly on my
guard. I would I could pick them off as quickly as I remove the
flies from this wall."

So saying, he took from the table the fly flap which had always to
lie on it in readiness, and entered upon his favorite amusement, the
pursuit of the flies on the wall and furniture, which his servants
took good care not to drive from the emperor's cabinet, because
Francis would never have pardoned them for spoiling his sport.

Walking along the walls with a rapid step, the emperor commenced
killing the flies.

"Ha!" he exclaimed, striking a fly, "ha! brother Charles, this
stroke is intended for you. Really, there lies the fly writhing, as
the generalissimo did, on the floor. But he has a tougher life than
the fly; for the fly will writhe until it is dead, but the
generalissimo always revives; and when he has no fits, he is a very
brave and illustrious man, before whom his emperor must humbly stand
aside. I cannot take the fly-flap and strike his writhing limbs as I
do this miserable fly, the little Archduke Charles, that is writhing
on the floor there. So, now you are dead, confounded little brother
Charles, and we will hunt for your brother John. See, see, there he
sits on the wall, cleaning his wings and making himself tidy and
pretty. There! There is an affectionate blow from your imperial
brother, and you are done for. Now you will never fly to YOUR
mountaineers and BRING them freedom and salvation. You will, on the
contrary, stick to the wall of your emperor's room, and learn that
your brother is your master. Why, this is most amusing sport to day!
I shall not stop before killing a dozen Archdukes Charles and John!"

And Francis hunted eagerly on the walls and the furniture for other
flies, which he pursued and killed with his fly-flap, always
applying the name of Charles to one, and that of John to the next.

In the excitement of this strange sport he had not noticed that,
soon after he entered the cabinet, the door had opened, and
Counsellor von Hudelist had come in. Francis did not remember at
that moment that he had given express orders to Hudelist to re-enter
the cabinet as soon as he heard the emperor return to it; he had
fixed his thoughts exclusively on the cruel pleasure of killing the
flies Charles and John, and Hudelist took good care not to disturb
him in this pleasant pastime. He stood leaning against the wall
close to the door; his small, flashing eyes followed every motion of
the emperor with rapt attention, and whenever Francis, on killing a
fly, pronounced the name of either of his brothers in a triumphant
tone, a malicious smile overspread the pale and ugly face of the
counsellor.

Now, however, Francis, in hunting for flies, had arrived at the
extreme end of the room. Until then, his back had been turned to
Hudelist. If he should turn now and continue his sport on the other
side of the room, he would discover him, and be disagreeably
surprised at his presence. Therefore, before the emperor turned,
Hudelist opened once more the door near which he was standing, and
closed it rather noisily.

The emperor turned and asked gayly: "Well, what is it, Mr.
Counsellor?"

"Your Majesty ordered me to return to the cabinet as soon as you
should be back."

"But I returned some time ago," said Francis, casting a distrustful,
searching glance on Hudelist.

"Pardon me, your majesty, I believed I heard you only just now close
the door, and had until then vainly waited for some sound in the
cabinet," replied Hudelist, with a perfectly innocent expression of
countenance. "The second door separating the conference-room from
your majesty's cabinet is so heavily lined with cushions as to
render it almost impervious to sound, and I beg your pardon again
for not having heard despite the most eager attention."

The emperor's face had again entirely cleared up. "Never mind," he
said; "I am glad that those in the adjoining room cannot hear what
is going on here. I like to have ears for all, but do not like
anybody to have ears for me. Now let me hear what you have brought
for me from Paris."

"Above all things, your majesty, I succeeded in obtaining for a
considerable sum of money, the receipt for making Spanish sealing-
wax, from a Spanish refugee, who was formerly employed at the royal
sealing-wax factory of Madrid, and was perfectly familiar with the
formula for making it. Your majesty knows that this receipt is a
secret, and that the officers and workmen employed at the factory
must even swear an oath not to divulge it."

"And you obtained the receipt nevertheless, and brought it with
you?" inquired the emperor.

"Here it is, your majesty."

Francis hastily seized the paper which Hudelist handed to him with a
respectful bow.

"See, see, this is a very kind service which you have rendered me,
and I shall be grateful for it!" he exclaimed. "You shall test the
receipt with me alone; we will try it right away. But hold on; I
must first tell you some grave news. We shall declare war. I have
already told the French ambassador to leave Vienna to-day, and
Metternich can come home too. I will hold a council of the ministers
and generals to-day. Tell the functionaries at the chancery to
inform the ministers, archdukes, and generals that I wish to see
them in the conference-room at four. Make haste, and then come to my
laboratory. We will try the Spanish receipt."


CHAPTER V.

THE PERFORMANCE OF "THE CREATION."


A brilliant festival was to take place to-night in the large aula of
the Vienna University. All the composers, musicians, dilettanti, and
amateurs of Vienna, had joyously consented to participate in it. The
most distinguished names of the aristocracy and the artistic circles
of Vienna were at the head of the committee of arrangements. Among
those names were those of the Princes Lichnowsky and Lichtenstein,
the Countesses Kaunitz and Spielmann, of Beethoven and Salieri,
Kreutzer and Clementi, and finally, those of the poets Collin and
Carpani.

Every one wished to participate in this festival, which was to
render homage to the veteran German composer, the great Joseph
Haydn, on the occasion of the twenty-fifth performance of the
maestro's great work, "The Creation." Ten years had elapsed since
the first performance of "The Creation" at Vienna, and already the
sublime composition had made the tour of Europe, and had been
performed amid the most enthusiastic applause in London and Paris,
in Amsterdam and St. Petersburg, in Berlin, and all the large and
small cities of Germany. Everywhere it had excited transports of
admiration; everywhere delighted audiences had greeted with
rapturous enthusiasm this beautiful music, so full of holy ardor and
childlike piety, this great work of the German composer, Joseph
Haydn.

To-day the twenty-fifth performance of "The Creation" was to take
place at Vienna, and Joseph Haydn himself was to be present at the
concert. The committee of arrangements had invited him, and he had
accepted the invitation. Although his seventy-seven years were
resting heavily on his head, and had paralyzed his strength, be
could not withstand the honorable request of his friends and
admirers, and he had replied with a touching smile to the committee
of arrangements, whose delegates had conveyed the invitation to him
"I shall come to take leave of the world with my 'Creation,' and bid
a last farewell to my dear Viennese. YOU will often yet sing my
'Creation,' but I shall hear it for the last time!"

"For the last time!" These were the words which had thrilled all the
friends and admirers of the maestro, and filled them with the ardent
desire to greet him once more, and render him homage for the last
time. For all felt and knew that Haydn had spoken the truth, and
that his end was drawing near. All, therefore, longed to take part
in this last triumph of the composer of "The Creation," whom death
had already touched with its inexorable finger.

Hence, there was a perfect jam in front of the university building;
the equipages of the high nobility formed two immense lines down the
long street; like a black, surging stream, rising from moment to
moment, the part of the audience arriving on foot moved along the
houses and between the double line of carriages toward the entrance
of the building. Thousands had vainly applied for admission at the
ticket-office; there was room only for fifteen hundred persons in
the aula and the adjoining rooms, and perhaps as many thousands had
come to hear the concert. As they could not be admitted into the
hall, they remained in the street in front of the building; as they
could not hear Haydn's music, they wished at least to see his face
and cheer him on his arrival at the door.

But there was a surging crowd also in the festively-decorated
university hall. All had come in their holiday attire, and joy and
profound emotion beamed from all faces. Friends shook hands and
greeted each other with radiant eyes; and even those who did not
know each other exchanged kindly greetings and pleasant smiles on
seating themselves side by side, and looked at each other as though
they were friends and acquaintances, and not entire strangers.

For all felt the great importance of this hour; all felt themselves
Germans, owing to the homage which they were to render to the German
maestro and to German music; and all knew that this festival would
be looked upon beyond the Rhine as a hostile demonstration of the
Germans against French pride and arrogance. They wished to show to
France that, although Germany was dismembered, the heart of the
Germans throbbed for Germany and German art, and that they did not
feel at all alarmed at the grandiloquent threats of the Emperor of
the French, but yielded with undisturbed equanimity to the enjoyment
of German art. While the threatening words of the Emperor Napoleon
were resounding, like ringing war-fanfares, from Paris, the Viennese
desired to respond to him by the beautiful notes of sublime music;
and, regardless of the growls of the lion beyond the Rhine, they
wished to delight in the soul-stirring harmonies of "The Creation."

All preparations were now completed. The hall was all ablaze with
the wax-lights which were beaming down from those gigantic lustres,
and whose rays were reflected in the large mirrors covering the
walls. The imperial box was splendidly festooned with rare flowers,
and decorated with carpets and gilt candelabra, whose enormous wax-
lights filled the interior of the spacious box with broad daylight.

Opposite the imperial box, on the other side of the hall, rose the
large tribune destined for an orchestra of eighty performers and a
choir of one hundred singers. All the latter, too, were in joyous
spirits; all were animated to-day, not by the envy and jealousy so
often to be found among artistes, but by the one great desire to
contribute their share to the homage to be rendered to German art.
They did not wish to-day to exhibit themselves and their artistic
skill, but desired only to render homage to the music of the great
maestro, and to German art.

And now the hour was at hand when the concert was to commence. The
audience had taken their seats, the orchestra ceased tuning their
instruments, the singers were in readiness, and the committee of
arrangements had gone down to the street-door to await Haydn's
arrival.

The door of the imperial box opened at this moment, and the emperor
and empress entered, followed by the archdukes and their suites. To-
day for the first time the audience took no notice of these august
persons; they did not rise to greet the imperial couple and the
archdukes. No one had perceived their arrival, for all eyes were
steadfastly fixed on the large folding-doors by which Joseph Haydn
was to enter the hall.

He had been expected already for some time, and the audience began
to whisper anxiously: "Will he, perhaps, not come, after all? Will
his physician not permit him to go to the concert because the
excitement might be injurious to him?"

But all at once the silence was broken by a noise in the street,
which sounded like the roar of the stormy ocean; it rent the air,
and caused the windows of the hall to rattle. And the audience was
joyfully moved; all faces became radiant, all turned their eyes
toward the door.

Now this door opened, and a beautiful though strange group appeared
in it. In its midst, on the shoulders of eight strong young men,
arose an easy chair, festooned with flowers, and in this chair sat
the small, bent form of an old man. His face was pale and wan, and
in his forehead the seventy-seven years of his life had drawn deep
furrows; but from his large blue eyes beamed the eternal fire of
youth, and there was something childlike and touching in the smile
of his mouth. On the right side of his easy-chair was seen the
imposing form of a gentleman, plainly dressed, but with a head full
of majestic dignity, his face gloomy and wild, his high forehead,
surrounded by dense dishevelled hair, his eyes now gleaming with
sombre fires, now glancing mildly and amiably. It was Louis von
Beethoven, whom Haydn liked to call his pupil, and whose fame had at
that time already penetrated far beyond the frontiers of Austria. On
the left side of the easy-chair was seen the fine, expressive face
of Salieri, who liked to call himself Gluck's pupil; and side by
side with these two walked Kreutzer and Clementi, and the other
members of the committee of arrangements.

Thundering cheers greeted their appearance; the whole audience rose;
even the Empress Ludovica started up from her gilded chair and bowed
smilingly; and the Archduke John advanced close to the railing of
the box to greet again and again with pleasant nods of his head and
waves of his hand Joseph Haydn, thus borne along above the heads of
the audience. But the Emperor Francis, who was standing by the side
of his consort, looked with a somewhat sneering expression on the
crowd below, and, turning to the empress, he said: "Perhaps my dear
Viennese may consider Haydn on his easy-chair yonder their emperor,
and I myself may abdicate and go home. They did not even look at us
to-night, and are raising such a fuss now as though God Almighty had
entered the ball!"

In effect, the exultation of the audience increased at every step
which the procession advanced, and endless cheers accompanied the
composer to the seat which had been prepared for him on an estrade
in front of the orchestra.

Here two beautiful ladies of high rank came to meet him, and
presented to him, on cushions of gold-embroidered velvet, poems
written by Collin and Carpani and printed on silken ribbons. At the
same time many hundred copies of these poems flittered through the
hall, and all shouted joyously, "Long live Joseph Haydn, the German
maestro!" And the orchestra played a ringing flourish, and the
cheers of the audience rent the air again and again.

Joseph Haydn, quite overcome, his eyes filled with tears, leaned his
head against the back of his chair. A mortal pallor overspread his
cheeks, and his hands trembled as though he had the fever.

"Maestro, dear, dear maestro!" said the Princess Esterhazy, bending
over him tenderly, "are you unwell? You tremble, and are so pale!
Are you unwell?"

"Oh, no, no," said Haydn, with a gentle smile, "my soul is in
ecstasies at this hour, which is a precious reward for a long life
of arduous toils. My soul is in ecstasies, but it lives in such a
weak and wretched shell; and because the soul is all ablaze with the
fires of rapturous delight, the whole warmth has entered it, and the
poor mortal shell is cold and trembling."

The Princess Esterhazy took impetuously from her shoulders the
costly Turkish shawl in which her form was enveloped; she spread it
out before Haydn and wrapped it carefully round his feet. Her
example was followed immediately by the Princesses Lichtenstein and
Kinsky, and the Countesses Kaunitz and Spielmann. They doffed their
beautiful ermine furs and their Turkish and Persian shawls, and
wrapped them around the old composer, and transformed them into
cushions which they placed under his head and his arms, and blankets
with which they covered him. [Footnote: See "Zeitgenossen," third
series, vol. vi., p. 32]

Haydn allowed them smilingly to do so, and thanked, with glances of
joyful emotion, the beautiful ladies who manifested so much tender
solicitude for him.

"Why can I not die now?" he said to himself in a low voice. "Why
does not Death kiss my lips at this glorious hour of my triumph? Oh,
come, Death! waft me blissfully into the other world, for in this
world I am useless henceforth; my strength is gone, and my head has
no more ideas. I live only in and on the past!"

"And yet you live for all time to come," said the Princess
Esterhazy; enthusiastically, "and while German art and German music
are loved and honored, Joseph Haydn will never die and never be
forgotten."

Hushed now was every sound. Salieri had taken his seat as conductor
of the concert, and signed now to the orchestra.

The audience listened in breathless silence to the tumultuous notes
depicting in so masterly a manner the struggle of light and
darkness, the chaos of the elements. The struggle of the elements
becomes more and more furious, and the music depicts it in sombre,
violent notes, when suddenly the horizon brightens, the clouds are
rent, the dissonant sounds pass into a sublime harmony, and in
glorious notes of the most blissful exultation resound through the
struggling universe the grand, redeeming words, "Let there be
light!" And all join in the rapturous chorus, and repeat in blissful
concord, "Let there be light!"

The audience, carried away by the grandeur and irresistible power of
these notes, burst into long-continued applause.

Haydn took no notice of it; he heard only his music; his soul was
entirely absorbed in it, and lifting both his arms to heaven, he
said devoutly and humbly, "It comes from above!" [Footnote:
"Zeitgenossen," ibid.]

The audience had heard these loud and enthusiastic words; it
applauded no longer, but looked in reverent silence toward the aged
composer, who, in the midst of his most glorious triumph, rendered
honor to God alone, and bowed piously and modestly to the work of
his own genius.

The performance proceeded. But Joseph Haydn hardly heard much of the
music. His head leaned against the back of the chair; his face, lit
up by a blissful smile, was deathly pale; his eyes cast fervent
glances of gratitude toward heaven, and seemed, in their ecstatic
gaze, to see the whole heavens opened.

"Maestro," said the Princess Esterhazy, when the first part of the
performance was ended, "you must no longer remain here, but return
to your quiet home."

"Yes, I shall return to the quiet home which awaits us all," said
Haydn, mildly, "and I feel sensibly that I shall remain no longer
among men. A sweet dream seems to steal over me. Let the performers
commence the second part, and my soul will be wafted to heaven on
the wings of my music."



Online LibraryL. MühlbachAndreas Hofer → online text (page 5 of 43)