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   Chapter 34 THE FIFTEENTH OF AUGUST AT COMORN.

Andreas Hofer: An Historical Novel By L. Mühlbach Characters: 30751

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03


While the people of Innspruck set no bounds to their rejoicings on the 15th of August, and accompanied Andreas Hofer, the emperor's lieutenant, amid the most rapturous manifestations of enthusiasm, to the imperial palace; while the Emperor Napoleon was celebrating the 15th of August, his birthday, by a great parade at Schoenbrunn, and the bestowal of orders and rewards on many distinguished persons, the Emperor Francis was at the fortress of Comorn. Only a few of his faithful adherents had followed him thither; only his servants and officers surrounded him at his mournful court there. The Empress Ludovica and the archduchesses had already repaired to Totis, a country-seat of Prince Lichtenstein, in Hungary, whither the emperor intended to follow her in the course of a few days.

"I should set out this very day," he said, pacing his cabinet, to his confidential agent Hudelist, the Aulic councillor, "but I should like to see previously Count Bubna, whom I have sent to Bonaparte."

"I hope, your majesty, that the count will yet return today," replied Hudelist, in his humble bland voice.

"God grant it!" sighed the emperor. "It is very tedious here, and I hope our sojourn at Totis will not be so mournful and wearisome. Prince Lichtenstein told me there were excellent fishing-ponds there, and he added that he had caused to be built a laboratory where I might manufacture sealing-wax. I think, Hudelist, we shall be very industrious there, and manufacture new and beautiful styles."

"I received to-day a new receipt for making carmine sealing-wax, perfumed a la rose," said Hudelist, smiling.

"Ah, that is nice," exclaimed the emperor; "give it to me-let me read it."

The Aulic councillor drew a paper from his bosom and handed it with a low bow to the emperor. Francis took it quickly, and fixed his eyes smilingly on it.

His features, however, suddenly became very gloomy, and he threw the paper indignantly on the table. "What do you give me this for?" he asked, angrily. "In speaking of the receipt, I had forgotten the abominable political situation for a moment, but you must at once remind me of it."

"My God!" faltered out Hudelist, "what did I do, then, to excite your majesty's indignation?"

The emperor took the paper from the table and handed it to him. "See," he said, already half pacified, "is that a receipt for making sealing-wax?"

"Good heavens!" groaned Hudelist, in dismay, "I made a mistake. In place of the receipt, I handed to your majesty the draft of the proclamation to your subjects, which your majesty ordered me to write. Oh, I humbly beg your majesty's pardon for having made so lamentable a blunder; I-"

"Well, never mind," interrupted the emperor; "there is no harm done. You handed me one receipt, in place of another; and it is true, the sealing-wax receipt may remain in your pocket until we arrive at Totis, but the other receipt is needed immediately, for it is destined to reduce the people to submissiveness and tranquillity. Well, read the proclamation you have drawn up."

"Your majesty, I have carried out carefully the orders of your majesty, and the instructions of your minister, Count Metternich, and written only what your majesty had agreed upon with the minister."

"Read it," said the emperor, taking the fly-flap from the table; and, while he was slowly gliding along the walls, and killing now and then a fly, Hudelist read as follows:"

"To my people and my army!-My beloved subjects, and even my enemies know that, in entering upon the present war, I was induced to take up arms neither by thirst for conquest nor by mortified personal feelings."

"Self-preservation and independence, a peace which would be compatible with the honor of my crown, and which would give security and tranquillity to my people, were the lofty and only objects which I strove to attain."

"The fickle fortunes of war have not fulfilled my expectations; the enemy penetrated into the heart of my states, and exposed them to the devastations of a war carried on with the most relentless exasperation and barbarity; but, at the same time, he became acquainted with the patriotic spirit of my people and the bravery of my army."

"This experience, which he purchased after fearful bloodshed, and my unvarying solicitude for the happiness of my subjects, brought about mutual advances for peace negotiations. My plenipotentiaries met with those of the French emperor."

"I am desirous of concluding an honorable peace, the terms of which offer the possibility and prospect of its duration. The bravery of my army, its unwavering courage, its ardent patriotism, its emphatic wish not to lay down its arms prior to the conclusion of an honorable peace, prevent me from submitting to terms which would shake the foundations of the empire, and dishonor us after such great and generous sacrifices and so much bloodshed."

"The noble spirit animating the army is a sufficient guaranty that, if the enemy should after all mistake our intentions and strength, we shall certainly obtain the reward of constancy in the end." [Footnote: See Hormayr's "Andreas Hofer," vol. ii., p. 440.]

"There," cried the emperor at this moment, striking with the fly- flap at the wall, "that will at length put an end to your humming, with which you have dinned my ears for a quarter of an hour. Come here, Hudelist, and look at this bluebottle fly. The whole time while you were reading I was chasing it, and have only just got it. Did you ever see so large a fly?"

"It is a very large fly indeed," said Hudelist, with a grin.

"I do not believe that it is a bluebottle fly," exclaimed the emperor. "It is Bonaparte, who has transformed himself into a bluebottle fly, as Jove once transformed himself into an ox; and he came hither to annoy me and din my ears until I am quite sick. Yes, yes, Hudelist, believe me, Bonaparte is a huge bluebottle fly, which drives all Europe mad. Ah, would I could treat him as I treat this abominable bluebottle fly now, and crush him under my foot!"

And the emperor crushed the writhing insect under his heel.

"Your majesty will surely enjoy one day the pleasure of crushing Bonaparte, the huge bluebottle fly, under your heel," said Hudelist. "Only your majesty must be gracious enough to have patience, and not now try to attain what you will surely accomplish at a later time. At this juncture Bonaparte is strong and superior to us; but let us wait until there is a moment when he is weak; your majesty will profit by this moment, and crush him."

"See, see how kind you are!" exclaimed the emperor, with a sardonic smile; "you are so obliging as to give me advice which I did not ask for. I thank you, Mr. Aulic Councillor, but I believe it will be better for me to follow my own understanding. As God Almighty has placed me at the head of Austria and made me emperor, He must confide in my ability to discharge the duties of my imperial office. Well, you need not look so dismayed; I know that your intentions are good, and I confide in you."

"Your majesty knows that I am ready to die for you, and that I should shed my blood for you unhesitatingly and joyously," exclaimed Hudelist, enthusiastically. "It was, therefore, only my intense love and veneration which made me venture to communicate my views freely and openly to your majesty; but I shall never do so again, for I was unfortunate enough to displease your majesty thereby."

"On the contrary, you shall always do so, you shall always tell me your opinion freely and openly," cried the emperor, vehemently. "You shall tell me all that you believe, all that you know, and all that you hear and learn from others. Your ears, eyes, and tongue, shall belong to me."

"And my heart, above all things, belongs to my adored emperor, your majesty."

"Have you really got a heart?" asked the emperor, smiling. "I do not believe it, Hudelist; you are a clever, sagacious man, but you had better say nothing about your heart, for I think you have used it up in your countless love-affairs. Moreover, I do not care for it. I do not think a great deal of men who have too much heart, and who always allow their rash heart to influence their actions. My distinguished brother, the Archduke John, for instance, has this fault and weakness; his heart frequently runs away with his head, and his legs finally run after it."

"But he is a very brave general," said Hudelist, gently; "a courageous captain, and a most defiant and foolhardy enemy of France. How unwavering were the courage and intrepidity with which he met the Viceroy of Italy everywhere, and attacked him, even though he knew beforehand that he would be unable to worst the superior enemy! How great was the magnanimity with which he risked all, and did not shrink from sacrificing the lives of thousands in attempting to carry out an insignificant coup against the enemy! And how sublime was the heroism with which he has often dared to brave the orders of the commander-in-chief and pursue his own way, on finding that these orders were dangerous and pernicious to his army!"

"Yes," cried the emperor, bursting into scornful laughter, "it was owing to this disobedience and stubbornness that we lost the battle of Wagram. If the Archduke John had been more obedient, and arrived with his troops in time, we should have gained the battle. I should not be in this miserable hole and it would not be necessary for me to sue Bonaparte so humbly and contritely for generous terms of peace. The good heart of my distinguished brother subjected me to this unpleasant necessity, and I shall one day manifest to him my gratitude for it."

"Oh, your majesty," said Hudelist, in his blandest voice, "if the archduke should have unwittingly committed a blunder on this occasion, he has made a thousand amends for it. Your majesty should bear in mind all that the noble Archduke John accomplished in the Tyrol. Your majesty owes it only to the archduke that the Tyrol rose as one man, that it fought, and is fighting still, with the utmost heroism. He arranged it all; he organized a conspiracy in the Tyrol while the country was yet under the Bavarian yoke-a vast, gigantic conspiracy; owing to his secret instigation, the revolution broke out simultaneously in all parts of the Tyrol, and it is the name of the Archduke John which fills this people of heroes with the sublime courage which it displays in the most murderous battles."

"It is bad enough that it is so," exclaimed the emperor, striding uneasily up and down the room. "The Archduke John sowed the seeds of pernicious weeds, and played a very dangerous game."

"It is true, it is dangerous to preach rebellion to a people, and teach it how to rise in insurrection," said Hudelist, thoughtfully. "And it cannot be denied that the insurrection of the Tyrolese sets a deplorable example in some respects. It is true, the archduke organized the conspiracy only for the good of Austria and her emperor; but what the Tyrolese are doing to-day FOR the emperor, they might another time do AGAINST him; and if the archduke were not so exceedingly loyal and entirely above suspicion, one might think he had stirred up the insurrection for his own purposes and benefit. At all events, it only depends on him to have himself proclaimed King of the Tyrol, for his influence is all-powerful in that province."

The emperor uttered a cry of rage. His eyes shot fire, his lips quivered and muttered incoherent threats, his cheeks had turned livid, and be paced his room in indescribable agitation. Then, as if to give vent to the rage filling his breast, he took up the fly-flap and struck violently at the flies seated here and there on the wall.

Hudelist followed his every motion with his cold, stealthy eyes, and an expression of scorn and malicious joy illuminated his sombre face for a moment.

"It was effectual," he murmured to himself; "jealousy and suspicion have struck roots in his heart, and we shall succeed in neutralizing the influence of the archduke, who constantly preaches war, and war at any cost."

Suddenly the emperor cast his fly-flap aside, and turned to Hudelist, whose face had quickly resumed its quiet, humble, and impenetrable expression.

"Hudelist," said the emperor, in a low and mysterious tone, "always tell me all you know about the archduke, and do not conceal any thing from me. I must know all, and count upon your sincerity and talent of observation."

"Your majesty," cried Hudelist, ardently, "I swear that I will faithfully carry out the orders of my emperor. Not a word, not a step, not a manifestation of public opinion shall be concealed from your majesty; for, as your majesty was gracious enough to observe, my ears, eyes, and tongue, belong to your majesty."

At this moment the door of the anteroom opened, and a footman announced Count Bubna.

"Let him come in," said the emperor; and he dismissed, with a quick wave of his hand, Hudelist, who, bowing respectfully, and walking backward, left the emperor's cabinet at the same moment that Count Bubna appeared on the threshold of the opposite door.

The emperor hastened to meet him. "Now speak, count!" he exclaimed, eagerly; "did you see Bonaparte? Did he admit you?"

"Yes, your majesty," said Count Bubna, with gloomy gravity, "the

Emperor Napoleon did admit me. I had a long interview with him."

The emperor nodded his head. "Did he offer you terms of peace?"

"He did, but I cannot conceal from your majesty that the Emperor Napoleon will impose very harsh and oppressive conditions. He is exceedingly irritated, and the heroic resistance which our army offered to him, our brilliant victory at Aspern, and the fact that his victory at Wagram was after all little better than a drawn battle, seem to have exasperated him in the extreme. For this reason he is resolved to impose rigorous terms of peace on us, because, if Austria should submit to them, she would thereby admit that the Emperor of the French gained a great victory at Wagram."

"Well, I am glad that he is irritated," said the emperor, shrugging his shoulders; "so am I, and I shall not accept any peace which would impose humiliating terms on Austria. That is what I have promised this very day to my people in the proclamation lying on the table yonder; and I owe it, moreover, to myself. Either an honorable peace, or a decision by the fortune of war. If need be, I will call upon my whole people to take up arms; I will place myself at the head of this grand army, and either defeat Bonaparte, or succumb honorably."

"Ah, if your people could see your majesty in your generous excitement, with how much enthusiasm they would follow their emperor and expel the enemy!" exclaimed Count Bubna. "And yet even the most intense enthusiasm might fail, for circumstances are more powerful than your majesty's heroism. The Emperor Napoleon is determined to follow up his success to its most extreme consequences, and we are at this juncture unable to cope with him in the long run. All the gaps in his army have been filled up, and his soldiers are flushed with victory, and eager to meet our own forces. Our army is greatly weakened, disorganized, and disheartened; and, moreover, it has no commander-in-chief, inasmuch as your majesty has accepted the resignation of the generaliss

imo. To continue the war would be equivalent to endangering the existence of Austria and the imperial dynasty itself."

"Ah, you mean that Bonaparte would be pleased to say of my dynasty what he said of Naples and Spain: 'The Bourbons have ceased to reign'?"

"Your majesty, although the Emperor Napoleon did not dare to use such unmeasured language, he did not fail to hint at such an event. Having admitted me after repeated refusals and hearing my first words, 'My august master, the Emperor of Austria,' the Emperor Napoleon interrupted me, and cried vehemently, 'There is no longer an Emperor of Austria, but only a Prince of Lorraine!'"

"Ah, indeed, he permits me at least to retain the title of a Prince of Lorraine! And what else did he say? Do not conceal any thing from me, Count Bubna, but bear in mind that I must know all, in order to take my resolutions accordingly."

"Your majesty, if I did not bear this in mind, I should never venture to repeat what the Emperor Napoleon permitted himself to say to me. He seemed to speak quite unreservedly in my presence; lying on the floor by the side of his maps, or sitting on the table and placing his feet on a chair, or standing before me with folded arms, he spoke to me with a frankness which almost frightened me, and which at times seemed to me quite involuntary."

"There you were mistaken, at all events," said Francis, shrugging his shoulders. "Bonaparte never does any thing unintentionally, and not a word escapes him but what he wants to utter. I know him better than you all, though I have seen him only once in my life; and God knows that, after my interview with him subsequent to the battle of Austerlitz, my heart was filled with intense hatred against him. Now, my heart is more constant in hatred than in love; and if it is said that love makes us blind, hatred, on the other hand, renders us keen-sighted, and that is the reason why I am able to see through Bonaparte and know him better than you all. Tell me, therefore, what he said so frankly to you, and I shall know what to think of his statements which seem to you unintentional expressions of his real sentiments. What does he think of the armistice? Is he really intent on drawing the sword once more, or is he inclined to conclude peace?"

"Inclined, your majesty, is not the right word. He intends to GRANT peace to your majesty in return for heavy sacrifices. Your majesty will have to sacrifice much territory, many fortresses, and finally a great deal of money, in order to obtain peace."

"And what if I should not do so?" cried Francis, impetuously. "What if I should prefer to resume hostilities and die honorably on the ruins of my empire rather than purchase a dishonorable peace? What would he say then?"

"Then he would resume hostilities with his strong and enthusiastic army; he would, as he told me more than once in his thundering voice, be inexorable, and no considerations of generosity would prevent him from wreaking vengeance on his personal enemy; for as such he would regard your majesty in that event."

"But the people of Nuremberg do not hang any one before they have got him," said the emperor, calmly. "Bonaparte has not got me yet, and I think he will not catch me soon. Despite all his braggadocio, he will be obliged to allow the continued existence of the Austrian Empire, for all Europe would rise against him; even Russia herself would become his enemy, and draw the sword against him, if he should be daring enough to appropriate the Austrian Empire and swallow it as he swallowed Italy."

"Your majesty, I also do not believe that he would menace Austria in case he should be driven again to hostilities; he threatens only the Emperor of Austria."

"What do you mean, Bubna?" asked the emperor, vehemently.

"Your majesty," said Count Bubna, in a low, timid voice, "the Emperor Napoleon thinks you are his personal and inexorable enemy, and he believes if a monarch more favorable to him were seated on the throne of Austria, he would not only soon conclude peace with Austria, but also have a faithful ally in her hereafter. If hostilities should be resumed, and if the fortune of war should decide in favor of the Emperor Napoleon-"

"Proceed, proceed," cried the emperor, impatiently, when Count Bubna hesitated; "I must know all, and am not so cowardly as to be frightened by mere words."

"But I, your majesty, am afraid of uttering words whose meaning fills me with loathing and horror-words which, thank God, will never become deeds!"

"No preamble, count, but speak out," cried the emperor, impatiently.

"What would Bonaparte do in case he should defeat us again?"

"Your majesty, he would place another emperor on the Austrian throne."

"Ah, always the same old strain," exclaimed the emperor, contemptuously. "One of his brothers or brothers-in-law is to become Emperor of Austria, I suppose? 'The Hapsburg dynasty has ceased to reign'-that is it, is it not?"

"No, another prince of the Hapsburg dynasty is to be placed on the throne, one of the brothers of the Emperor Francis."

"Ah, ah! he thinks of my brothers," murmured the emperor, whose cheeks turned very pale. "Well, which of my brothers did he designate as future Emperor of Austria?"

"He thought it would be best for France if the throne were ceded to the Grand-duke of Wurtzburg, the Archduke Ferdinand. He said he had had confidence in the grand-duke ever since he had been in Tuscany, and he believed that the grand-duke was likewise friendly to him. He would make him Emperor of Austria, and add the grand duchy of Wurtzburg to the kingdom of Bavaria."

"And the Tyrol?" asked the Emperor Francis. "Will Bonaparte, in his liberality, give that also to Bavaria, or will he leave it to my brother Ferdinand, the future Emperor of Austria?"

"No, your majesty. The Emperor Napoleon seems to have entirely new and rather singular plans in regard to the Tyrol. According to these plans. Bavaria is not to keep it, for Napoleon said angrily that Bavaria had not at all known how to deal with the simple and honest Tyrolese. He added that profound tranquillity should reign in the mountains; hence, he could not restore the Tyrol to Bavaria, against which the Tyrolese were animated by intense hatred. As the Tyrolese had manifested their attachment and fidelity to Austria in so admirable a manner, it would be best to make the Tyrol an independent principality, and give it also to one of the arch-dukes, the brothers of the emperor." [Footnote: Napoleon's own words.-See "Lebensbilder," vol. v., p. 217.]

"By the Eternal! my brothers seem to be the special favorites of the Emperor Napoleon," exclaimed the emperor. "Which of the archdukes is to receive the new principality of the Tyrol at Bonaparte's hands?"

"Your majesty, he said the Tyrol should be given to that archduke for whom the Tyrolese had always manifested the greatest love and enthusiasm, the Archduke John."

"John!" cried the emperor, giving a start; "John is to become sovereign of the Tyrol? Ah, my sagacious and learned brother has speculated correctly, then! He first stirred up a rebellion in the Tyrol in the shrewdest manner, and he will now quiet the beloved Tyrol, by becoming its sovereign and ruler."

"Your majesty," exclaimed the count, in dismay, "it is not the noble

Archduke John who conceived such plans, but the Emperor Napoleon."

"He seems at least to keep up a touching understanding with my brothers. I should like to know whether his generosity will not provide crowns and states for the other arch-dukes too. And then, you have not told me yet what he intends to do with me after hurling me from the throne. Does he want to keep me confined like the King of Spain and Pope Pius, or will he permit me to live as a refugee in foreign lands, like the King of Naples?"

"Your majesty, Napoleon only dreamed of the future, and dreams never are logical and consistent. I myself listened to his dreams in silence, and they amused me as the merry fairy-stories of my childhood did-fairy-stories invented only for the purpose of making us laugh."

"Yes, let us laugh at them," exclaimed the emperor, bursting into loud laughter, which, however, sounded so unnatural that Count Bubna did not join in it. "And now," said the emperor, whose face suddenly became very gloomy, "having spoken enough about Bonaparte's funny dreams, let us turn to more serious matters. What are the terms on which the Emperor of the French would make peace with me? What does he demand?"

"Your majesty, his demands are so exorbitant that I scarcely dare to repeat them."

"Never mind," said the emperor, dryly. "If I could listen quietly to the plan regarding my brothers, I believe I shall be able to bear the rest. Speak, therefore. What are the terms on which Napoleon would conclude peace?"

"He demands the cession of all the provinces actually occupied by the French armies; the surrender of the fortresses still occupied by our troops in these provinces, with their magazines, arsenals, stores, and supplies; the surrender of the fortresses of Gratz and Brunn; and large contributions in kind, to be collected by M. Daru, the French intendant-general."

"He intends to spoliate Austria as mercilessly as he formerly plundered Hamburg and the whole of Northern Germany," said the emperor, shrugging his shoulders. "And does not Bonaparte demand any money this time? Will he content himself with provinces, fortresses, and contributions in kind? Will he extort no money from us?"

"Your majesty, he demands an enormous sum. He demands the immediate payment of two hundred and thirty-seven millions of francs." [Footnote: See Schlosser's "History of the Nineteenth Century," vol. viii., p. 115.]

"Well, well, he will take less than that," exclaimed the emperor.

"Then your majesty will graciously negotiate with him on his terms of peace?" asked Count Bubna, joyously. "Bearing in mind only the welfare of your monarchy, you will not reject his rigorous demands entirely, and not allow the armistice to lead to a resumption of hostilities, which, under the present circumstances, could not but involve Austria in utter ruin?"

"I shall think of it," said the emperor; "at all events, I have already shown my desire for peace by sending my ministers, Counts Stadion and Metternich, to Altenburg, to negotiate there with Bonaparte's minister Champagny. I shall not recall them, but allow them to continue the negotiations. They are skilled diplomatists, and men of great sagacity. The labors of diplomatists generally make slow headway; hence, it will be good for us to lend them a little secret assistance. While the plenipotentiaries are negotiating publicly at Altenburg in Hungary, I will secretly begin to negotiate with the emperor himself; and you, Count Bubna, shall be my agent for this purpose."

"Your majesty," exclaimed Count Bubna, in a tone of surprise rather than joy, "your majesty reposes in me so much confidence-"

"Which, I hope, you will appreciate, and strive to render yourself worthy of," interrupted the emperor. "I count on your skill, your zeal, and, above all, your discretion. You will take new proposals of peace to-morrow, on my part, to the headquarters of the Emperor Napoleon, at Schoenbrunn. But no one must learn of your mission, and, least of all, my two ministers who are negotiating at Altenburg."

"Sire, I shall keep as silent as the grave."

"A bad comparison, Bubna, for new life is to blossom for Austria from your secret negotiations. Well, go now and repose; we will afterward confer again in regard to this matter, and I will explain my views to you. But say, Bubna, do you really think that Bonaparte was in earnest about his dreams, and that, in case he should defeat us again, he would seriously think of carrying into effect his plans regarding the Archdukes Ferdinand and John?"

"I am afraid, your majesty, he was in earnest."

"The Emperor Napoleon, then, hates me intensely?"

"He believes that your majesty hates him intensely. He told me once frankly that only your majesty's personal hatred had brought about this war, and that he was afraid this hatred would frustrate all peace negotiations. I ventured to contradict him, but be shook his head vehemently and exclaimed, 'The Emperor Francis hates me so intensely, that I believe he would lose his crown and empire sooner than ally himself with me in a cordial manner, even though he should derive the greatest advantages therefrom. Do you think, for instance, that the Emperor Francis, if I wished to become his son- in-law, would give me the hand of his daughter, even though I should relinquish half the war contribution, and restore to him all the provinces occupied by my armies?'"

"What? Did Napoleon really say that?" asked the emperor, with unusual, almost joyful vivacity. "But," he added, gloomily, "this is nothing but one of Napoleon's dreams. He has a wife, and the Empress Josephine is so young and gay yet that she does not think of dying."

"But the Emperor Napoleon, I have been told, thinks a great deal of getting a divorce from her."

"The pope, whom he keeps imprisoned, will never grant it to him," exclaimed the emperor.

"I think he will not even apply to him for it, your majesty. The Emperor Napoleon never had his union with the Empress Josephine consecrated by the Church, and the dissolution of a civil marriage does not require the pope's consent. The emperor can dissolve it by virtue of his own authority."

"That is a very convenient arrangement for M. Bonaparte," said Francis, smiling. "Well, go now, count, and repose. I am very content with your services, and I think I shall be so hereafter also. Adieu. I shall send for you again."

He nodded kindly to the count, and stood still smilingly at his writing-table in the middle of the cabinet, until the door of the anteroom closed behind Count Bubna. But thereupon his face assumed a gloomy, bitter expression, and he lifted up his clinched fist with a menacing gesture.

"My brothers!" he cried, in an angry voice; "always my brothers! They are always eager to push me aside. I am always to be kept in the shade, that their light may shine more brightly. Ah, we shall see who is Emperor of Austria, and to whom the Tyrol belongs; we shall see who is the master, and who has to obey. As yet I am emperor, as yet I have to decide on war and peace. And I will decide. I will humiliate them and compel them to be obedient, these boastful archdukes, who always preach war and are worsted in every battle! Oh, they are stirring up rebellion, and stretching out their hands for my property! But one stroke of my pen will shatter their crowns, stifle their rebellion, and reduce them to submissiveness. I will make peace with Napoleon, and the seditious Tyrol shall be quieted without being bestowed upon the Archduke John. I would rather have it restored to Bavaria than that it should be conferred on my brother. That would be a just retribution for the seditious peasants; they have set a bad example, and should be punished for it. I do not want any conspirators among my subjects. Let Bavaria see how she will get along with the rebellious Tyrolese! I shall withdraw my hand from them. I want peace. I will remain Emperor of Austria despite all my brothers!"

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