L. Mühlbach.

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But the Princess Esterhazy beckoned to his friends. "Take him away,"
she said, "the excitement will kill him, if he stays any longer."

They approached his chair and begged permission to escort him home.
Haydn nodded his assent silently and smilingly, and his eyes glanced
dreamily round the hall.

Suddenly he gave a start as if in great terror, and rose so
impetuously that the furs and Turkish shawls, which had been wrapped
round him, fell to the floor. His face crimsoned as if in the light
of the setting sun; his eyes looked up with a radiant expression to
the box yonder - to his emperor, whom he had loved so long and
ardently, for whom he had wept in the days of adversity, for whom he
had prayed and sung at all times. Now he saw him who, in his eyes,
represented fatherland, home, and human justice; he felt that it was
the last time his eyes would behold him, and he wished to bid
farewell at this hour to the world, his fatherland, and his emperor.

With a vigorous hand he pushed back the friends who would have held
him and replaced him in his chair. Now he was no longer a weak and
decrepit old man; he felt strong and active, and he hastened forward
with a rapid step through the orchestra toward the conductor's seat
and the piano in front of it. He laid his hands, which trembled no
longer, on the keys, and struck a full concord. He turned his face
toward the imperial box; his eyes beamed with love and exultation,
and he began to play his favorite hymn with impressive enthusiasm -
the hymn which he had composed ten years ago in the days of
Austria's adversity, and which he had sung every day since then, -
the hymn, "Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser, unsern guten Kaiser
Franz!" And the audience rose and gazed with profound emotion upon
Joseph Haydn's gleaming face, and then up to the emperor, who was
standing smilingly in his box, and the empress, from whose eyes two
large tears rolled down her pale cheeks; and with one accord the
vast crowd commenced singing:

"Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser,
Unsern guten Kaiser Franz!
Lange lebe Franz der Kaiser
In des Glueckes hellem Kranz!
Ihm erbluehen Lorbeerreiser,
Wo er geht, zum Ehrenkranz.
Gott erhalte - "

"God preserve the emperor
Francis, our good emperor!
Long live Francis, brightest gem
In fair Fortune's diadem
O'er him see the laurel wave,
Honoring the true, the brave!
God preserve - "]

Haydn's hands dropped exhausted from the keys; his form rocked to
and fro, and, half fainting, he sank back into the arms of Salieri
and Kreutzer.

The audience paused; all forgot the imperial hymn, and looked only
at the venerable old maestro, whom Salieri and Kreutzer lowered now
softly into the easy-chair, which had been brought to them.

"Take me home, dear ones," he said, faintly, "sing on, my
'Creation'; my soul will remain with you, but my body can no longer
stay. Old age has broken its strength. Farewell, farewell, all of
you! My soul will always be among you when you sing my music; my
body will go, but the soul will remain. Farewell!"

And the votaries of art who had conveyed him to the hall now placed
the maestro's chair again on their shoulders, and carried it slowly
through the hall toward the entrance.

The audience stood in silent reverence and looked up to Haydn's
passing form, and durst not break this profound stillness by
uttering a sound. They bade farewell to the universally beloved and
revered maestro only by bowing their heads to him and shedding tears
of emotion - farewell for evermore!

The solemn procession had now arrived at the door. Joseph Haydn
lifted his weary head once more; his spirit gleamed once more in his
eyes; an expression of unutterable love beamed from his mild face;
he stretched out his arms toward the orchestra as if to bless it,
and greeted it with his smile, with the nodding of his head, and the
tears which filled his eyes. [Footnote: "Zeitgenossen," third
series, vol iv., p. 33]

A low rustling and sobbing passed through the hall; no one was
courageous enough to clap his hands; all hearts were profoundly
moved, all eyes filled with tears.

But now he disappeared, and the door closed behind Joseph Haydn. The
German maestro had to-day celebrated his apotheosis amidst the
enthusiastic people of Vienna. Life had dedicated to him the laurel-
wreath which usually only death grants to poets and artists.

The Audience was still silent, when all at once a powerful voice
exclaimed: "Let us sing the second verse of Haydn's favorite hymn -
the second verse of 'Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser!'"

"Yes, yes," shouted all, enthusiastically, "the second verse! the
second verse!"

And hundreds of voices shouted to the orchestra beseechingly,
imperiously, thunderingly, that it should play the accompaniment;
and the musicians complied with this tumultuous request.

The audience expressed their gratitude by an outburst of applause,
and sang thereupon the second verse:

"Lass von seiner Fahne Spitzen
Strahlen Sieg and Furchtbarkeit
Lass in seinem Rathe sitzen
Weisheit, Klugheit, Redlichkeit,
Und mit seiner Hoheit Blitzen
Schalten our Gerechtigkeit.
Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser,
Unsern guten Kaiser Franz!"

"Before his banner floating high
Let victory shout and foemen fly!
In his connsels let preside
Wisdom, prudence, noble pride!
Homely justice delling find!
God preserve the emperor,
Francis, our good emperor!"]

The emperor bowed his thanks to the audience, the orchestra
commenced again playing the air, and the audience sang anew:

"Lass von seiner Fahne Spitzen
Strahlen Sieg und Furchtbarkeit!"

And arms and hands were lifted here and there beseechingly toward
the emperor; in vain the orchestra tried to play on; the audience,
with rare unanimity, as if seized with one sentiment and one wish,
sang again and again:

"Lass von seiner Fahne Spitzen
Strahlen Sieg und Furchtbarkeit!"

And then all shouted loudly, beseechingly, and withal angrily and

"War! war! Lass von seiner Fahne
Spitzen strahlen Sieg and Furchtbarkeit!"

The excitement of the audience grew constantly bolder and more
impetuous. The men left their seats and crowded around the imperial
bog, repeating again and again the words

"Lass von seiner Fahne Spitzen
Strahlen Sieg and Furchtbarkeit!"

The emperor withdrew in confusion into the background of his box,
and whispered quickly a few words to the Archduke John. The archduke
advanced to the railing of the box, and commanded silence by waving
his hand to the audience.

The singers paused immediately, and amidst the breathless silence
which ensued, the Archduke John shouted in a loud and powerful
voice: "The emperor announces to his dear Viennese that he is
determined to submit no longer to the arrogance of France, and that
war is irrevocably resolved on."

A cry of rapture burst from all lips; all shouted exultingly, "War!
war! We shall at length bid defiance to the arrogance of the French
emperor! We shall have war with France; we shall avenge the wrongs
which we have suffered so long, and set bounds to the encroachments
of France!"

And friends and acquaintances greeted each other with radiant eyes
and glowing cheeks; neighbors, entirely unknown to each other, shook
hands and said, smilingly: "Now at length we shall have war! At
length we shall remove from our German honor the stains with which
France has sullied it. At length we shall have war, and God will
grant us - "

The ringing notes of the orchestra interrupted the animated
conversation of the excited audience. Salieri had taken his seat
again, he raised his baton, and the second part of "The Creation"



The streets of Vienna were silent and deserted; all houses were
dark; everywhere the note of life had died away, and only here and
there a hackney-coach was heard to drive slowly through the lonely
streets, or a belated wanderer was seen to return home with a weary

Vienna slept and dreamed of the welcome news which, despite the late
hour, had spread like wild-fire from the concert-hall through the
city - of the joyful intelligence that war against France was
resolved on, and that the time was at length at hand when the wrongs
perpetrated by Napoleon were to be avenged.

Vienna slept and dreamed; only in the wing of the imperial palace
where lay the rooms occupied by the Archduke John, the lights had
not yet been extinguished, and at times dark figures were seen
moving to and fro behind the windows.

The Archduke John did not sleep yet, but he had already dismissed
Conrad, his valet de chambre; he had permitted the other footmen to
retire from the anteroom to their bedchambers, and had then himself
locked the door of the outer anteroom.

"I do not trust Conrad, my valet de chambre," he said to Count
Nugent, who was with him in his cabinet; "it is he, doubtless who
has been placed as a 'guardian angel' by my side, and is to report
regularly all I am doing."

"Your highness ought to discharge the fellow forthwith," exclaimed
Count Nugent, indignantly.

"I shall take good care not to do so," said John, smiling; "on the
contrary, I shall try to keep Conrad as long as possible in my
service, for I know him, and shall be able to mystify him. I shall
always have to suffer a spy by my side, for the love and solicitude
of my imperial brother will never leave me for a single moment
without close surveillance; and Conrad is less distasteful to me
than another spy probably would be. Still, I did not want him to
report any thing about the visitors who will be here to-night, and
therefore I dismissed him for the night."

"But he will probably stand in the street to watch his master's
windows," said Nugent, with a shrug; "and the shadows which he will
see he may distort into all sorts of spectres which will be
mentioned in the emperor's police report to-morrow morning."

"Oh, I am not afraid of that at this hour," exclaimed John. "The
emperor knows that I am to receive the delegates of the Tyrolese; I
myself told him so to-day, and he approves of it. But harm might
befall my Tyrolese at their homes, if their plans were discovered
previous to their deliverance from the Bavarian yoke. But hush, did
you not hear a rustling sound in the corridor?"

"Yes, I did; it is drawing near - it is at the door now, and -
somebody raps already."

"Our friends are there," exclaimed John, hastening to the door, and
drawing back the bolt.

The archduke was not mistaken; his friends were there, and entered
his cabinet now by the secret door. They were headed by Baron von
Hormayr in his brilliant gold-embroidered uniform, which rendered
doubly conspicuous the beauty of his slender yet firmly-knit form,
and the noble expression of his prepossessing, youthful face. He was
followed by three Tyrolese, clad in their national costume, and
holding their rifles in their arms.

The first of them was a man about forty years old. His frame was
Herculean, his shoulders broad, his strength immense; his head was
covered with dense black hair, his bronzed face was radiant with
kind-heartedness and good-humor. His dress was the common habit of
the country, with some trifling variations: a large black hat, with
a broad brim, black ribbons, and a dark curling feather; a green
jacket, red waistcoat, broad green braces crossed on the breast; a
black leathern girdle, adorned, according to the Tyrolese custom,
with all sorts of ivory and other ornaments; black breeches, red
stockings, and black shoes with buckles. About his neck was always
to be seen a silver crucifix fastened to a heavy gold chain, and
over it, down to the girdle, flowed his large black beard, which
imparted a strange, fantastic air to his whole appearance. This man
was Andreas Hofer, the innkeeper of Passeyr, to whom the Italian
Tyrolese, on account of his long beard, had given the name of

The second of the Tyrolese who entered the archduke's cabinet was a
man of no less imposing appearance, dressed entirely like Andreas
Hofer; only the long beard was wanting to him, and, instead of a
black hat, he wore the pointed green Tyrolese hat, adorned with
hunting ornaments. His face, less good-natured and serene than that
of his friend, was expressive of energy and resolution; courage and
shrewdness beamed from his black eyes, and a peculiar expression of
defiance and scorn played around his full lips. This was Joseph
Speckbacher, known by every inhabitant of the northern Tyrol as "the
bold chamois-hunter."

He was followed by a third Tyrolese, as proud and strong, as robust
and fine-looking, as his two companions. It was Anthony Wallner, the
innkeeper of Windisch-Matrey, and, like Speckbacher, Hofer's
intimate friend.

The archduke advanced to meet the Tyrolese, and shook hands with
each of them.

"Welcome, my Tyrolese, welcome!" he said, in a deeply-moved voice;
"may God and the Holy Virgin grant that no harm result, from your
visit to me! You know that I have never ceased to love you, and that
when, in the year 1805,I had to bid farewell to Andreas Hofer and
the dear Tyrol, my heart almost broke with grief and despair."

"Look, look!" exclaimed Andreas Hofer, turning with a radiant smile
to his two friends; "he is indeed the same man who bade us farewell
at that time in Brunecken, and was not ashamed of embracing Andreas
Hofer and shedding tears on his shoulder for the poor sacrificed

"And who is glad to-day to be able to embrace Andreas Hofer again,"
said the archduke, encircling the Herculean form of the Tyrolese
innkeeper with his arms. "But I will shed no tears to-day, Andreas,
for I hope the time of tears is over, and you have come to tell me
so, to bring me love-greetings from the Tyrolese, and the hope of
better times. Say, you three brave men from the Tyrol, Andreas
Hofer, Joseph Speckbacher, Anthony Wallner, is it not so? Have you
not come to tell me that the Tyrol is longing for her emperor and
desirous of getting rid of the Bavarians?"

"Yes, we have come to say this to our dear John," exclaimed Andreas

"We have come to ask if Austria does not intend to call upon her
Tyrol to rise and fight under her banners," said Joseph Speckbacher.

"We have come to ask our Archduke John if he will help us with his
troops and cannon in case we Tyrolese should rise now to expel the
Bavarians from the country," said Anthony Wallner, with flashing

"We have come to ask our John, Is it time?" exclaimed Andreas Hofer.

The archduke held out his hand to him with a firm and resolute
glance. "Yes," he said, "yes, Andreas Hofer, it is time! Yes,
Anthony Wallner, Austria will assist the Tyrolese with her troops
and cannon in expelling the Bavarians and French from their country.
Yes, Joseph Speckbacher, Austria intends to call upon her faithful
Tyrol to rise and fight under her banners; she will engage in a
mortal contest for you and with you!"

"God grant success to our united efforts!" said Andreas Hofer,
folding his hands over the crucifix on his breast. "During all these
years I have prayed every day to the Holy Virgin to let me live and
see the day when the Austrian eagle shall once more adorn our
boundary-posts, and when we may again fondly and faithfully love our
Emperor Francis as our legitimate sovereign. The good God in heaven,
I hope, will forgive me for having been a very bad and obstinate
subject of the King of Bavaria. I would never submit to the new
laws, and could not discover in my old Austrian heart a bit of
loyalty or love for the ruler who was forced upon us."

"No, you were a stubborn disloyalist, Andy." said Hormayr, "and, as
spokesman of your whole district, you raised your voice against
every new law which the Bavarian government promulgated in your
country. But, it is true the Tyrolese love their Andy for this, and
say that he is the most honest, faithful, and reliable man in the
whole valley of the Adige."

"To be courageous is not so difficult if the cause which you fight
for is a good one," said Andreas Hofer, calmly. "God Himself
engraved on my heart the commandment to be loyal to my emperor, my
country, and its laws; and if you call me reliable, dear friend, you
merely say that I do my duty as a Christian, for the Bible says,
'Let your communication be Yea, yea; nay, nay; for whatsoever is
more than these cometh of sin.' Therefore, do not praise me for that
which is only my duty, and which Speckbacher and Wallner, and all
our dear friends in the valley of the Adige, do just as well as I.
For the rest, I must tell you, gentlemen, it is not so strange that
we should be attached to the emperor; for the Bavarians are
governing our country in such a manner as if they were intent only
on making us love our emperor every day more and more, and long for
him more intensely."

"It is true, Andy is right," exclaimed Anthony Wallner; "the
Bavarians oppress us fearfully, and we will not stand it any longer;
we will become Austrians again, as our fathers were, and will fight
for our liberty and our old privileges which Bavaria solemnly
guaranteed, and which her authorities basely intend to overthrow."

"Which they have already overthrown," cried Joseph Speckbacher, his
eyes flashing with anger. "The court of Munich seems intent only on
making the utmost of their new acquisition. Our old constitution has
been overthrown by a royal edict; the representative estates have
been suppressed, and the provincial funds seized. No less than eight
new and oppressive taxes have been imposed and are being levied with
the utmost rigor; the very name of our country has been abolished;
the royal property has all been brought into the market; new imports
are daily exacted without any consultation with the estates of the
people; specie has become scarce, from the quantity of it which is
being drawn off to the Bavarian treasury; the Austrian notes have
been reduced to half their value; and, to crown all these wrongs,
compulsory levies are held among our young men, who are to serve in
the ranks of our oppressors! No, we must break the yoke weighing us
down - we will become freemen again - as freemen we will live and die-
-as freemen we will belong again to our beloved Emperor Francis,
whose ancestors have ruled over us for so many centuries past."

"If all the Tyrolese think and feel as you three do," said the
Archduke John, with sparkling eyes, "you will recover your liberty
and your emperor, despite the Bavarians and French."

"All feel and think as we do," said Hofer, thoughtfully; "we have
all vowed to God and the Holy Virgin that we will deliver the Tyrol
from the enemy; and every man, every lad in our mountains and
valleys, is ready to take up his rifle and fight for his dear
Emperor Francis."

"We are here as delegates of the whole Tyrol," said Anthony Wallner,
"to ascertain the wishes and intentions of the emperor and his
government, prefer our bitter complaints, and declare the firm
resolution of the Tyrolese to shrink from no sacrifice in order to
be reunited with Austria and to reconquer our ancient rights and

"But we need assistance for this purpose," added Joseph Speckbacher,
"speedy and vigorous assistance; above all, we need troops, money,
ammunition, and supplies. Will Austria give them to us?"

"She will," said the archduke. "She will send you a corps d'armee,
money, ammunition, and supplies. Only you must be ready and prepared
to rise as one man when we give you the signal of insurrection."

"We are ready!" exclaimed Andreas Hofer, nodding joyously. "But you
must not delay the signal very long, for delays are highly -
dangerous under the present circumstances. We and our friends have
prepared the insurrection, and it is as if a large torrent of fire
were flowing secretly under the surface of the Tyrol; if some shrewd
Bavarian should scratch away some of the earth, he would discover
the fire, fetch water, and extinguish the flames, before the
Austrians reach the country and prevent him from so doing. A secret
known to a great many is seldom well kept; it is, as it were, a ripe
fruit which must fall from the tree, even though it should hit and
crush the head of the owner of the tree."

"Yes, what is to be done must be done soon," said Anthony Wallner.
"The men of Passeyr, Meran, Mays, and Algund, are ready, and have
entered into a secret league with the whole valley of the Inn. The
district of the Adige, too, has joined us, and the German and
Italian Tyrolese, who formerly never liked each other, have now
agreed to stand shoulder to shoulder and rise on one day and as one
man, in order to drive the Bavarians and French from their

"We are waiting only for Austria to give the signal; pray do not
keep us waiting too long, for we men of the Lower Innthal, too, are
all ready and armed. An enormous worm of insurrection, as it were,
is creeping through the Lower Inn valley, and the worm has four
heads, which look toward all quarters of the world. One head is
Rupert Wintersteller, of Kirchdorf; the second is Jacob Sieberer, of
Thiersen; the third is Antony Aschbacher, of Achenthal; and the
fourth is I, Joseph Speckbacher, of Kufstein."

"In the Puster valley, too, a storm is brewing, and all are ready
and impatient to rise in insurrection," said Hofer. "Therefore, dear
brother of our emperor, give us good news, that we may take it home
to the men of the Tyrol, for their hearts are longing and crying for
their sovereign the emperor."

"And the emperor, on his part, is longing for his Tyrolese," said
the archduke. "The time has come when that which belongs together is
to be reunited. Let us consult and deliberate, then, my friends,
what we should do in order to attain our great object, and reunite
the Tyrolese with their emperor."

"Yes, let us, consult," said Hofer, solemnly; "and let us pray God
and the Holy Virgin to enlighten our minds."

He raised the crucifix from his breast to his face and bent over it,
muttering a prayer.

"Now I am ready," he said, slowly dropping the crucifix; "let us
deliberate. But I tell you beforehand, I am no military hero, nor a
wise man in council. I am resolved to do all that is necessary to
deliver my dear Tyrol from the enemy, and to strike and fire at the
Bavarians and French until they run away terror-stricken, and
restore us to our dear Emperor Francis. But I am unversed in
negotiations and devising shrewd tricks and stratagems. I am only a
plain peasant, who has a great deal of love and fidelity in his
heart, but only few thoughts in his head. Baron von Hormayr and the
archduke may do the thinking for me. They shall be the head, and I
the arm and heart. Speckbacher and Wallner yonder have good heads
too, though I do not wish to say that their hearts are not also in
the right place; on the contrary, I know that they are. Let us
consult, then, and bear in mind that God hears us, and that the
Tyrolese are waiting for us."

"You are an excellent man, Andy," exclaimed John, holding out his
hand to Hofer with a tender glance - " a childlike soul, full of
love, fidelity, and tenderness; and, in gazing at you, it seems as
if the whole dear Tyrol, with its mountains and valleys, its Alpine
huts and chapels, its merry singers and pious prayers, were present
before me. Come, then, Andy, and you other dear friends, come, let
us be seated and hold a council of war."

They seated themselves around the table standing in the middle of
the room.

Day was already dawning, the candles had burned down very low, the
streets began to become lively, and still the Tyrolese remained in
the archduke's cabinet, their faces glowing with defiance and
resolution, and their eyes flashing with boldness and enthusiasm.
For every thing was settled and decided now; each of them had
received his instructions and been informed of the part which he was
to play in the struggle. War with the Bavarians and French, and
liberty for the Tyrol, was the battle-cry and goal.

"The plan is settled, then," said the Archduke John, nodding kindly
to the Tyrolese. "Eleven points, especially, have been agreed upon,
after mature deliberation; and it would be good for us to repeat
them briefly."

"Let us do so," said Andreas Hofer. "First, then: The Tyrolese will
rise against the Bavarians, in order to be reunited with Austria. We
shall enlist as many soldiers for the insurgent army as possible,
and try to make all Tyrolese our fellow-conspirators. They will meet
on Sundays at the taverns, and the innkeepers in the valleys and
mountains are the leaders of the conspiracy; they will call the

Online LibraryL. MühlbachAndreas Hofer → online text (page 6 of 43)