Andreas Hofer

Andreas Hofer


The performance commenced almost at the same moment, the curtain rose, and the actors began to sing. It is true, it is not a passion-play, and there is nothing from the Bible in it; but then it is a nice play. I believe the curtain will rise again immediately, and it is time for me to return to my seat. But I should like to know where my countryman with the horses and wine is. He insisted on seeing me, sent for me, and does not come now.""But, Andy, do you not yet know that it was I who sent for you?"asked Hormayr. "Why, it was only a stratagem of mine to get the Barbone out of the theatre and take him away from here.""But why do you want to take me away from here? I tell you I like the play very well, and have never seen any thing like it. It is true, Cherubino, the boy, is an arrant liar, but he is a jolly fellow, and I do not want him to come to grief. And Figaro is a sly fox, and withal a brave man. I should like to make his acquaintance and ask him if he really promised old Marielle to marry her; for it would be wrong if he did not keep his word now, and refused to make her his wife because he likes the young woman better than her. If Iknew where he lives, I would go to him this very night and tell him what he ought to do.""Oh, you foolish old child of Nature! what you saw on the stage was nothing but a play. Figaro never existed; and even though he did, you would not go to him, but accompany me and take supper with me.""I am sorry." said Andreas, gravely, "I cannot do so; for, in the first place, I must stay here and wait for the countryman who has arrived here with the horses and wine.""Jesus Maria! what do you say? The countryman? Did I not tell you that it is I, Andy?""Oh, yes, I had already forgotten it. But, second, I cannot go because I must see the remainder of the play. Let me, therefore, return to my seat, for I paid for the whole performance; I believe Ihave already missed a great deal; but they will assuredly not return to me at the office a penny for what I did not hear." [Footnote:

Hofer's own words.--See Hormayr, "Andreas Hofer," vol. i., p. 810.]

"They will not, and shall not either," cried Hormayr, angrily. "You will not return to your seat, Andy, but go and take supper with me.

For you know, my dear fellow, that you have come to Vienna, not to go to the theatre, but to ask the dear Archduke John's assistance and succor for the beloved Tyrol, and inquire of the emperor if he will not aid his loyal Tyrolese in their attempt to become his subjects once more. And the emperor and the archduke will help you;they promise to send soldiers and guns in time to the Tyrol. But, in return, you must do what the archduke asked you to do; you must carefully conceal yourself, Andy, in order to prevent the Bavarians from learning of your trip to Vienna; otherwise they would arrest you and your friends after your return to the Tyrol. Hence you must not return to your seat, where so many persons would see you, and unfortunately have seen you already.""Well, if it must be so, let us go, sir," sighed Andreas. "But just listen how they are singing, shouting, and cheering inside! Jesus Maria! Figaro, I believe, will have to marry old Marielle after all, and give up pretty little Susanne. Ah, my God! she will die heart-broken, for she loves him so dearly. Pray, sir, let me go in once more, that I may see whether or not he must marry old Marielle.""No, Andy," said Hormayr, smiling, "you need not be uneasy; Figaro will not marry old Marielle, for she is his own mother.""What!" cried Andreas, in dismay; "she his mother, and he has promised to marry her! That is most sinful and infamous! No good Christian should listen to such things. Come along, sir. I do not want to hear another word of it. Good heavens! what will Anna Gertrude say when I tell her what I have seen here, and that there are here in Vienna men infamous enough to promise to marry their mothers?""But they never do so in reality, Andy, but only on the stage.

Otherwise the police would be after them at once. For the emperor is a very pious and virtuous gentleman, and he does not permit any infractions of the sacred laws of God and the Church in his dominions.""Yes, the emperor is a very pious and virtuous gentleman," exclaimed Andreas Hofer, enthusiastically, "and that is the reason why the Tyrolese love him and wish to be again his subjects and children.

Come, I will go home with you. I do not want to hear any more of the theatrical nonsense. Let us speak of our emperor and our dear Archduke John. God grant that we may soon be able to say he is our emperor again, and the archduke is our John, and his Tyrolese are again his subjects, because they fought well for their liberty, and because God blessed their efforts and crowned them with victory.

Come, we will go home, and to-morrow I shall return to the Tyrol, to my wife and children, and mountain and valley shall know that the time has come, and that we shall become Austrians again. May the Holy Virgin protect us and grant us a safe return; may she prevent the Bavarians from waylaying us and frustrating our great and noble purpose!" [Footnote: The delegates of the Tyrolese left Vienna on the following morning; their presence there, however, had been reported to the Bavarian officers, who, during their homeward journey, almost succeeded in arresting them. John von Graff, a banker of Botzen, was apprised of their arrival in Vienna by his correspondent in that city and informed the commissary-general at Brixen of what he had learned. A warrant for the arrest of the three delegates was issued, but they escaped in time into the mountains.--Hormayr, vol. i., p. 191.]

Lousia Muhlbach