Germany from the Earliest Period Vol. 4
Wolfgang Menzel, Trans. Mrs. George Horrocks

Part 3 out of 8

northern confederation, and had, at the same time, bribed Saxony with
a promise of the royal dignity, and Hesse with that of the annexation
of Fulda, not to enter into alliance with Prussia. Prussia saw herself
scorned and betrayed by France. A declaration of war with France was,
however, surrounded with tenfold danger. The power of France,
unweakened by opposition, had reached an almost irresistible height.
Austria, abandoned in every former campaign and hurried to ruin by
Prussia, could no longer be reckoned on for aid. The whole of Germany,
once in favor of Prussia, now sided with the foe. Honor at length
decided. Prussia could no longer endure the scorn of the insolent
Frenchman, his desecration of the memory of the great Frederick, or,
with an army impatient for action, tamely submit to the insults of
both friend and foe. The presence of the Russian czar, Alexander, at
Berlin, his visit to the tomb of Frederick the Great, rendered still
more popular by an engraving, had a powerful effect upon public
opinion. Louisa, the beautiful queen of Prussia and princess of
Mecklenburg, animated the people with her words and roused a spirit of
chivalry in the army, which still deemed itself invincible. The
younger officers were not sparing of their vaunts, and Prince Louis
vented his passion by breaking the windows of the minister Haugwitz.
John Muller, who, on the overthrow of Austria, had quitted Vienna and
had been appointed Prussian historiographer at Berlin, called upon the
people, in the preface to the "Trumpet of the Holy War," to take up
arms against France.

War was indeed declared, but with too great precipitation. Instead of
awaiting the arrival of the troops promised by Russia or until Austria
had been gained, instead of manning the fortresses and taking
precautionary measures, the Prussian army, in conjunction with that of
Saxony, which lent but compulsory aid, and with those of Mecklenburg
and Brunswick, its voluntary allies, took the field without any
settled plan, and suddenly remained stationary in the Thuringian
forest, like Mack two years earlier at Ulm, waiting for the appearance
of Napoleon, 1806. The king and the queen accompanied the army, which
was commanded by Ferdinand, duke of Brunswick, a veteran of seventy-
two, and by his subordinate in command, Frederick Louis, prince of
Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen, who constantly opposed his measures. In the
general staff the chief part was enacted by Colonel Massenbach, a
second Mack, whose counsels were rarely followed. All the higher
officers in the army were old men, promotion depending not upon merit
but upon length of service. The younger officers were radically bad,
owing to their airs of nobility and licentious garrison life; their
manners and principles were equally vulgar. Women, horses, dogs, and
gambling formed the staple of their conversation; they despised all
solid learning, and, when decorated on parade, in their enormous
cocked hats and plumes, powdered wigs and queues, tight leather
breeches and great boots, they swore at and cudgelled the men, and
strutted about with conscious heroism. The arms used by the soldiery
were heavy and apt to hang fire, their tight uniform was inconvenient
for action and useless as a protection against the weather, and their
food, bad of its kind, was stinted by the avarice of the colonels,
which was carried to such an extent that soldiers were to be seen,
who, instead of a waistcoat, had a small bit of cloth sewn on to the
lower part of the uniform where the waistcoat was usually visible.
Worst of all, however, was the bad spirit that pervaded the army, the
enervation consequent upon immorality. Even before the opening of the
war, Lieutenant Henry von Bulow, a retired officer, the greatest
military genius at that period in Germany, and, on that account,
misunderstood, foretold the inevitable defeat of Prussia, and,
although far from being a devotee, declared, "The cause of the
national ignorance lies chiefly in the atheism and demoralization
produced by the government of Frederick II. The enlightenment, so
highly praised in the Prussian states, simply consists in a loss of
energy and power."

The main body of the Prussian army was stationed around Weimar and
Jena, a small corps under General Tauenzien was pushed forward to
cover the rich magazines at Hof, and a reserve of seventeen thousand
men under Eugene, duke of Wurtemberg, lay to the rear at Halle. It was
remarked that this position, in case of an attack being made by
Napoleon, was extremely dangerous, the only alternatives left for the
Prussian army being either to advance, form a junction with the
gallant Hessians and render the Rhine the seat of war, or to fall back
upon the reserve and hazard a decisive battle on the plains of
Leipzig. That intriguing impostor, Lucchesini, the oracle of the camp,
however, purposely declared that _he_ knew Napoleon, that Napoleon
would most certainly not attempt to make an attack. A few days
afterward Napoleon, nevertheless, appeared, found the pass at Kosen
open, cut off the Prussian army from the right bank of the Saal, from
its magazines at Hof and Naumburg, which he also seized, from the
reserve corps stationed at Halle, and from Prussia. Utterly astounded
at the negligence of the duke of Brunswick, he exclaimed, while
comparing him with Mack, "Les Prussiens sont encore plus stupides que
les Autrichiens!" On being informed by some prisoners that the
Prussians expected him from Erfurt when he was already at Naumburg, he
said, "Ils se tromperont furieusement, ces perruques." He would,
nevertheless, have been on his part exposed to great peril had the
Prussians suddenly attacked him with their whole force from Weimar,
Jena, and Halle, or had they instantly retired into Franconia and
fallen upon his rear; but the idea never entered the heads of the
Prussian generals, who tranquilly waited to be beaten by him one after
the other.

After Tauenzien's repulse, a second corps under Prince Louis of
Prussia, which had been pushed forward to Saalfeld, imprudently
attempting to maintain its position in the narrow valley, was
surrounded and cut to pieces. The prince refused to yield, and, after
a furious defence, was killed by a French horse-soldier. The news of
this disaster speedily reached the main body of the Prussians. The
duke of Brunswick, at that time holding a military council in the
castle of Weimar, so entirely lost his presence of mind as to ask in
the hearing of several young officers, and with embarrassment depicted
on his countenance, "What are we to do?" This veteran duke would with
painful slowness write down in the neatest hand the names of the
villages in which the various regiments were to be quartered,
notwithstanding which, it sometimes happened that, owing to his
topographical ignorance, several regiments belonging to different
corps d'armee were billeted in the same village and had to dispute its
possession. He would hesitate for an hour whether he ought to write
the name of a village Munchenholzen or Munchholzen.

The Prussian army was compared to a ship with all sail spread lying at
anchor. The duke was posted with the main body not far from Weimar,
the Saxons at the Schnecke on the road between Weimar and Jena, the
prince of Hohenlohe at Jena. Mack had isolated and exposed his
different corps d'armee in an exactly similar manner at Ulm. Hohenlohe
again subdivided his corps and scattered them in front of the
concentrated forces of the enemy. Still, all was not yet lost, the
Prussians being advantageously posted in the upper valley, while the
French were advancing along the deep valleys of the Saal and its
tributaries. But, on the 13th of October, Tauenzien retired from the
vale, leaving the steeps of Jena, which a hundred students had been
able to defend simply by rolling down the stones there piled in heaps,
open, and, during the same night, Napoleon sent his artillery up and
posted himself on the Landgrafenberg. There, nevertheless, still
remained a chance; the Dornberg, by which the Landgrafenberg was
commanded, was still occupied by Tauenzien, and the Windknollen, a
still steeper ascent, whence Hohenlohe, had he not spent the night in
undisturbed slumbers at Capellendorf, might utterly have annihilated
the French army, remained unoccupied. The thunder of the French
artillery first roused Hohenlohe from his couch, and, while he was
still under the hands of his barber, Tauenzien was driven from the
Dornberg. The duties of the toilet at length concluded, Hohenlohe led
his troops up the hillside with a view of retaking the position he had
so foolishly lost; but his serried columns were exposed to the
destructive fire of a body of French tirailleurs posted above, and
were repulsed with immense loss. General Ruchel arrived, with his
corps that had been uselessly detached, too late to prevent the flight
of the Hohenlohe corps, and, making a brave but senseless attack, was
wounded and defeated. A similar fate befell the unfortunate Saxons at
the Schnecke and the duke of Brunswick at Auerstaedt. The latter,
although at the head of the strongest division of the Prussian army,
succumbed to the weakest division of the French army, that commanded
by Davoust, who henceforward bore the title of duke of Auerstaedt, and
was so suddenly put to the rout that a body of twenty thousand
Prussians under Kalkreuth never came into action. The duke was shot in
both eyes. This incident was, by his enemies, termed fortune's
revenge, "as he never would see when he had his eyes open."[1]

Napoleon followed up his victory with consummate skill. The junction
of the retreating corps d'armee and their flight by the shortest route
into Prussia were equally prevented. The defeated Prussian army was in
a state of indescribable confusion. An immensely circuitous march lay
before it ere Prussia could be re-entered. A number of the regiments
disbanded, particularly those whose officers had been the first to
take to flight or had crept for shelter behind hedges and walls. An
immense number of officers' equipages, provided with mistresses,
articles belonging to the toilet, and epicurean delicacies, fell into
Napoleon's hands. Wagons laden with poultry, complete kitchens on
wheels, wine casks, etc., had followed this luxurious army. The scene
presented by the battlefield of Jena widely contrasted with that of
Rossbach, whose monument was sent by Napoleon to Paris as the most
glorious part of the booty gained by his present easy victory.[2]

The fortified city of Erfurt was garrisoned with fourteen thousand
Prussians under Mollendorf, who, on the first summons, capitulated to
Murat, the general of the French cavalry. The hereditary Prince of
Orange was also taken prisoner on this occasion. Von Hellwig, a
lieutenant of the Prussian hussars, boldly charged the French guard
escorting the fourteen thousand Prussian prisoners of war from Erfurt,
at the head of his squadron, at Eichenrodt in the vicinity of
Eisenach, and succeeded in restoring them to liberty. The liberated
soldiers, however, instead of joining the main body, dispersed.
Eugene, duke of Wurtemberg, was also defeated at Halle, and, throwing
up his command, withdrew to his states. History has, nevertheless,
recorded one trait of magnanimity, that of a Prussian ensign fifteen
years of age, who, being pursued by some French cavalry not far from
Halle, sprang with the colors into the Saal and was crushed to death
by a mill-wheel.

Kalkreuth's corps, that had not been brought into action and was the
only one that remained entire, being placed under the command of the
prince of Hohenlohe, its gallant commander, enraged at the indignity,
quitted the army. Hohenlohe's demand, on reaching Magdeburg, for a
supply of ammunition and forage, was refused by the commandant, Von
Kleist, and he hastened helplessly forward in the hope of reaching
Berlin, but the route was already blocked by the enemy, and he was
compelled to make a fatiguing and circuitous march to the west through
the sandy March. Magdeburg, although garrisoned with twenty-two
thousand Prussians, defended by eight hundred pieces of artillery and
almost impregnable fortifications, capitulated on the 11th of November
to Ney, on his appearance beneath the walls with merely ten thousand
men and a light field-battery. Kleist, in exculpation of his conduct,
alleged his expectation of an insurrection of the citizens in case of
a bombardment. Magdeburg contained at that time three thousand unarmed
citizens. It is not known whether Kleist had been bribed, or whether
he was simply infected with the cowardice and stupidity by which the
elder generals of that period were distinguished; it is, however,
certain that among the numerous younger officers serving under his
command not one raised the slightest opposition to this disgraceful

The Hohenlohe corps, which consisted almost exclusively of infantry,
was accompanied in its flight by Blucher, the gallant general of the
hussars, with the elite of the remaining cavalry. Blucher had,
however, long borne a grudge against his pedantic companion, and,
mistrusting his guidance, soon quitted him. Being surrounded by a
greatly superior French force under Klein,[4] he contrived to escape
by asserting with great earnestness to that general that an armistice
had just been concluded. When afterward urgently entreated by
Hohenlohe to join him with his troops, he procrastinated too long, it
may be owing to his desire to bring Hohenlohe, who, by eternally
retreating, completely disheartened his troops, to a stand, or owing
to the impossibility of coming up with greater celerity.[5] He had,
indubitably, the intention to join Hohenlohe at Prenzlow, but
unfortunately arrived a day too late, the prince, whose ammunition and
provisions were completely spent, and who, owing to the stupidity of
Massenbach, who rode up and down the Ucker without being able to
discover whether he was on the right or left bank, had missed the only
route by which he could retreat, having already fallen, with twelve
thousand men, into the enemy's hands. This disaster was shortly
afterward followed by the capture of General Hagen with six thousand
men at Pasewalk and that of Bila with another small Prussian corps not
far from Stettin. Blucher, strengthened by the corps of the duke of
Weimar and by numerous fugitives, still kept the field, but was at
length driven back to Lubeck, where he was defeated, and, after a
bloody battle in the very heart of the terror-stricken city, four
thousand of his men were made prisoners. He fled with ten thousand to
Radkan, where, finding no ships to transport him across the Baltic, he
was forced to capitulate.

The luckless duke of Brunswick was carried on a bier from the field of
Jena to his palace at Brunswick, which he found deserted. All
belonging to him had fled. In his distress he exclaimed, "I am now
about to quit all and am abandoned by all!" His earnest petition to
Napoleon for protection for himself and his petty territory was
sternly refused by the implacable victor, who replied that he knew of
no reigning duke of Brunswick, but only of a Prussian general of that
name, who had, in the infamous manifest of 1792, declared his
intention to destroy Paris and was undeserving of mercy. The blind old
man fled to Ottensen, in the Danish territory, where he expired.

Napoleon, after confiscating sixty millions worth of English goods on
his way through Leipzig, entered Berlin on the 17th of October, 1806.
The defence of the city had not been even dreamed of; nay, the great
arsenal, containing five hundred pieces of artillery and immense
stores, the sword of Frederick the Great, and the private
correspondence of the reigning king and queen, were all abandoned to
the victor.[6] Although the citizens were by no means martially
disposed, the authorities deemed it necessary to issue proclamations
to the people, inculcatory of the axiom, "Tranquillity is the first
duty of the citizen." Napoleon, on his entry into Berlin, was
received, not, as at Vienna, with mute rage, but with loud
demonstrations of delight. Individuals belonging to the highest class
stationed themselves behind the crowd and exclaimed, "For God's sake,
give a hearty hurrah! Cry Vive l'empereur! or we are all lost." On a
demand, couched in the politest terms, for the peaceable delivery of
the arms of the civic guard, being made by Hulin, the new French
commandant, to the magistrate, the latter, on his own accord, ordered
the citizens to give up their arms "under pain of death." Numerous
individuals betrayed the public money and stores, that still remained
concealed, to the French. Hulin replied to a person who had discovered
a large store of wood, "Leave the wood untouched; your king will want
a good deal to make gallows for traitorous rogues." Napoleon's
reception struck him with such astonishment that he declared, "I know
not whether to rejoice or to feel ashamed." At the head of his general
staff, in full uniform and with bared head, he visited the apartment
occupied by Frederick the Great at Sans Souci, and his tomb. He took
possession of Frederick's sword and declared in the army bulletin, "I
would not part with this weapon for twenty millions." Frederick's tomb
afforded him an opportunity for giving vent to the most unbecoming
expressions of contempt against his unfortunate descendant. He
publicly aspersed the fame of the beautiful and noble-hearted Prussian
queen, in order to deaden the enthusiasm she sought to raise. But he
deceived himself. Calumny but increased the esteem and exalted the
enthusiasm with which the people beheld their queen and kindled a
feeling of revenge in their bosoms. Napoleon behaved, nevertheless,
with generosity to another lady of rank. Prince Hatzfeld, the civil
governor of Berlin, not having quitted that city on the entry of
Napoleon, had been discovered by the spies and been condemned to death
by a court-martial. His wife, who was at that time enceinte, threw
herself at Napoleon's feet. With a smile, he handed to her the paper
containing the proof of her husband's guilt, which she instantly
burned, and her husband was restored to liberty. John Muller was among
the more remarkable of the servants of the state who had remained at
Berlin. This sentimental parasite, the most despicable of them all,
whose pathos sublimely glossed over each fresh treason, was sent for
by Napoleon, who placed him about his person. Among other things, he
asked him, "Is it not true the Germans are somewhat thick-brained?" to
which the fawning professor replied with a smile. In return for the
benefits he had received from the royal family of Prussia, he
delivered, before quitting Berlin, an academical lecture upon
Frederick the Great, in the presence of the French general officers,
in which he artfully (the lecture was of course delivered in the
French language) contrived to flatter Napoleon at the expense of that
monarch.[7] Prince Charles of Isenberg raised, in the very heart of
Berlin, a regiment, composed of Prussian deserters, for the service of

The Prussian fortresses fell, meanwhile, one after the other, during
the end of autumn and during the winter, some from utter inability, on
account of their neglected state, to maintain themselves, but the
greater part owing to their being commanded by old villains,
treacherous and cowardly as the commandant of Magdeburg. The strong
fortress of Hameln was in this manner yielded by a Baron von Schoeler,
Plassenburg by a Baron von Becker, Nimburg on the Weser by a Baron von
Dresser, Spandau by a Count von Benkendorf. The citadel of Berlin
capitulated without a blow, and Stettin, although well provided with
all the _materiel_ of war, was delivered up by a Baron von Romberg.
Custrin, one of the strongest fortified places, was commanded by a
Count von Ingersleben. The king visited the place during his flight
and earnestly recommended him to defend it to the last. This place,
sooner than yield, had, during the seven years' war, allowed itself to
be reduced to a heap of ruins. When standing on one of the bastions,
the king inquired its name. The commandant was ignorant of it.
Scarcely had the king quitted the place, than a body of French huzzars
appeared before the gates, and Ingersleben instantly capitulated.

Silesia, although less demoralized than Berlin, viewed these political
changes with even greater apathy. This fine province had, during the
reign of Frederick the Great, been placed under the government of the
minister, Count Hoym, whose easy disposition had, like insidious
poison, utterly enervated the people. The government officers, as if
persuaded of the reality of the antiquarian whim which deduced the
name of Silesia from Elysium, dwelt in placid self-content, unmoved by
the catastrophes of Austerlitz or Jena. No measures were,
consequently, taken for the defence of the country, and a flying corps
of Bavarians, Wurtembergers, and some French under Vandamme, speedily
overran the whole province, notwithstanding the number of its
fortresses. At Glogau, the commandant, Von Reinhardt, unhesitatingly
declared his readiness to capitulate and excluded the gallant Major
von Putlitz, who insisted upon making an obstinate defence, "as a
revolutionist," from the military council. Being advised by one of the
citizens to fire upon the enemy, he rudely replied, "Sir, you do not
know what one shot costs the king." In Breslau, the Counts von Thiele
and Lindner made a terrible fracas, burned down the fine faubourgs,
and blew up the powder-magazine, merely in order to veil the disgrace
of a hasty capitulation, which enraged the soldiery to such a pitch
that, shattering their muskets, they heaped imprecations on their
dastard commanders, and, in revenge, plundered the royal stores. Brieg
was ceded after a two days' siege, by the Baron von Cornerut. The
defence of the strong fortress of Schweidnitz, of such celebrated
importance during the seven years' war, had been intrusted to Count
von Haath, a man whose countenance even betokened imbecility. He
yielded the fortress without a blow, and, on the windows of the
apartment in which he lodged in the neighboring town of Jauer being
broken by the patriotic citizens, he went down to the landlord, to
whom he said, "My good sir, you must have some enemies!" The remaining
fortresses made a better defence. Glatz was taken by surprise, the
city by storm. The fortress was defended by the commandant, Count
Gotzen, until ammunition sufficient for twelve days longer alone
remained. Neisse capitulated from famine; Kosel was gallantly defended
by the commandant, Neumann; and Silberberg, situated on an impregnable
rock, refused to surrender.

The troops of the Rhenish confederation, encouraged by the bad example
set by Vandamme and by several of the superior officers, committed
dreadful havoc, plundered the country, robbed and barbarously treated
the inhabitants. It was quite a common custom among the officers, on
the conclusion of a meal, to carry away with them the whole of their
host's table-service. The filthy habits of the French officers were
notorious. Their conduct is said to have been not only countenanced
but commanded by Napoleon, as a sure means of striking the enervated
population with the profoundest terror; and the panic in fact almost
amounted to absurdity, the inhabitants of this thickly-populated
province nowhere venturing to rise against the handful of robbers by
whom they were so cruelly persecuted. A Baron von Puckler offered an
individual exception: his endeavors to rouse the inert masses met with
no success, and, rendered desperate by his failure, he blew out his
brains. When too late a prince of Anhalt-Pless assembled an armed
force in Upper Silesia and attempted to relieve Breslau, but Thiele
neglecting to make a sally at the decisive moment, the Poles in Prince
of Pless's small army took to flight, and the whole plan miscarried. A
small Prussian corps, amounting to about five hundred men, commanded
by Losthin, afterward infested Silesia, surprised the French under
Lefebvre at Kanth and put them to the rout, but were a few days after
this exploit taken prisoners by a superior French force.

Attempts at reforms suited to the spirit of the age had, even before
the outbreak of war, been made in Prussia by men of higher
intelligence; Menken, for instance, had labored to effect the
emancipation of the peasantry, but had been removed from office by the
aristocratic party. During the war, the corruption pervading every
department of the government, whether civil or military, was fully
exposed, and Frederick William III. was taught by bitter experience to
pursue a better system, to act with decision and patient
determination. The Baron von Stein, a man of undoubted talent, a
native of Nassau, was placed at the head of the government; two of the
most able commanders of the day, Gneisenau and Scharnhorst, undertook
the reorganization of the army. On the 1st of December, 1806, the king
cashiered every commandant who had neglected to defend the fortress
intrusted to his care and every officer guilty of desertion or
cowardly flight, and the long list of names gave disgraceful proof of
the extent to which the nobility were compromised. One of the first
measures taken by the king was, consequently, to throw open every post
of distinction in the army to the citizens. The old inconvenient
uniform and firearms were at the same time improved, the queue was cut
off, the cane abandoned. The royal army was indeed scanty in number,
but it contained within itself germs of honor and patriotism that gave
promise of future glory.

The reform, however, but slowly progressed. Ferdinand von Schill, a
Prussian lieutenant, who had been wounded at Jena, formed, in
Pomerania, a guerilla troop of disbanded soldiery and young men, who,
although indifferently provided with arms, stopped the French convoys
and couriers. His success was so extraordinary that he was sometimes
enabled to send sums of money, taken from the enemy, to the king.
Among other exploits, he took prisoner Marshal Victor, who was
exchanged for Blucher. Blucher assembled a fresh body of troops on the
island of Rugen. Schill, being afterward compelled to take refuge from
the pursuit of the French in the fortress of Colberg, the commandant,
Loucadou, placed him under arrest for venturing to criticise the bad
defence of the place.

The king of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus IV., might with perfect justice
have bitterly reproached Prussia and Austria for the folly with which
they had, by their disunion, contributed to the aggrandizement of the
power of France. He acted nobly by affording a place of refuge to the
Prussians at Stralsund and Rugen.

Colberg was, on Loucadou's dismissal, gloriously defended by Gneisenau
and by the resolute citizens, among whom Nettelbek, a man seventy
years of age, chiefly distinguished himself. Courbiere acted with
equal gallantry at Graudena. On being told by the French that Prussia
was in their hands and that no king of Prussia was any longer in
existence, he replied, "Well, be it so! but I am king at Graudenz."
Pillau was also successfully defended by Herrmann.[9] Polish Prussia
naturally fell off on the advance of the French. Calisch rose in open
insurrection; the Prussian authorities were everywhere compelled to
save themselves by flight from the vengeance of the people. Poland had
been termed the Botany Bay of Prussia, government officers in disgrace
for bad conduct being generally sent there by way of punishment. No
one voluntarily accepted an appointment condemning him to dwell amid a
population inspired by the most ineradicable national hatred, glowing
with revenge, and unable to appreciate the benefits bestowed upon them
in their ignorance and poverty by the wealthier and more civilized

The king had withdrawn with the remainder of his troops, which were
commanded by the gallant L'Estoc, to Koenigsberg, where he formed a
junction with the Russian army, which was led by a Hanoverian, the
cautious Bennigsen, and accompanied by the emperor Alexander in
person. Napoleon expected that an opportunity would be afforded for
the repetition of his old manoeuvre of separating and falling singly
upon his opponents, but Bennigsen kept his forces together and offered
him battle at Eylau, in the neighborhood of Koenigsberg; victory still
wavered, when the Prussian troops under L'Estoc fell furiously upon
Marshal Ney's flank, while that general was endeavoring to surround
the Russians, and decided the day. It was the 8th of February, and the
snow-clad ground was stained with gore. Napoleon, after this
catastrophe, remained inactive, awaiting the opening of spring and the
arrival of reinforcements. Dantzig, exposed by the desertion of the
Poles, fell, although defended by Kalkreuth, into his hands, and, on
the 14th of June, 1807, the anniversary, so pregnant with important
events, of the battle of Marengo, he gained a brilliant victory at
Friedland, which was followed by General Ruchel's abandonment of
Koenigsberg with all its stores.

The road to Lithuania now lay open to the French, and the emperor
Alexander deemed it advisable to conclude peace. A conference was held
at Tilsit on the Riemen between the sovereigns of France, Russia, and
Prussia, and a peace, highly detrimental to Germany, was concluded on
the 9th of July, 1807. Prussia lost half of her territory, was
restricted to the maintenance of an army merely amounting to forty-two
thousand men, was compelled to pay a contribution of one hundred and
forty millions of francs to France, and to leave her most important
fortresses as security for payment in the hands of the French. These
grievous terms were merely acceded to by Napoleon "out of esteem for
his Majesty the emperor of Russia," who, on his part, deprived his
late ally of a piece of Prussian-Poland (Bialystock) and divided the
spoil of Prussia with Napoleon.[10] Nay, he went, some months later,
so far in his generosity, as, on an understanding with Napoleon and
without deigning any explanation to Prussia, arbitrarily to cancel an
article of the peace of Tilsit, by which Prussia was indemnified for
the loss of Hanover with a territory containing four hundred thousand

The Prussian possessions on the left bank of the Elbe, Hanover,
Brunswick, and Hesse-Cassel,[11] were converted by Napoleon into the
new kingdom of Westphalia, which he bestowed upon his brother Jerome
and included in the Rhenish confederation. East Friesland was annexed
to Holland. Poland was not restored, but a petty grandduchy of Warsaw
was erected, which Frederick Augustus, elector of Saxony, received,
together with the royal dignity. Prussia, already greatly diminished
in extent, was to be still further encroached upon and watched by
these new states. The example of electoral Saxony was imitated by the
petty Saxon princes, and Anhalt, Lippe, Schwarzburg, Reuss,
Mecklenburg and Aldenburg joined the Rhenish confederation. Dantzig
became a nominal free town with a French garrison.[12]

The brave Hessians resisted this fresh act of despotism. The Hessian
troops revolted, but were put down by force, and their leader, a
sergeant, rushed frantically into the enemy's fire. The Hessian
peasantry also rose in several places. The Hanse towns, on the
contrary, meekly allowed themselves to be pillaged and to be robbed of
their stores of English goods.

Gustavus Adolphus IV. of Sweden, who had neglected to send troops at
an earlier period to the aid of Prussia, now offered the sturdiest
resistance and steadily refused to negotiate terms of peace or to
recognize Napoleon as emperor. His generals, Armfeldt[13] and Essen,
made some successful inroads from Stralsund, and, in unison with the
English, might have effected a strong diversion to Napoleon's rear,
had their movements been more rapid and combined. On the conclusion of
the peace of Tilsit, a French force under Mortier appeared, drove the
Swedes back upon Stralsund, and compelled the king, in the August of
1807, to abandon that city, which the new system of warfare rendered
no longer tenable.

[Footnote 1: On the 14th of October. On this unlucky day, Frederick
the Great had, in 1758, been surprised at Hochkirch, and Mack, in
1805, at Ulm. On this day, the peace of Westphalia was, A.D. 1648,
concluded at Osnabrueck, and, in 1809, that of Vienna. It was, however,
on this day that the siege of Vienna was, in 1529, raised, and that,
in 1813, Napoleon was shut up at Leipzig.]

[Footnote 2: The whole of these disasters had been predicted by Henry
von Buelow, whose prophecies had brought him into a prison. On learning
the catastrophe of Jena, he exclaimed, "That is the consequence of
throwing generals into prison and of placing idiots at the head of the

[Footnote 3: The young "vons," on the contrary, capitulated with
extreme readiness, in order to return to their pleasurable habits.
Several of them set a great shield over their doors, with the
inscription, "Herr von N. or M., prisoner of war on parole." In all
the capitulations, the commandants and officers merely took care of
their own persons and equipages and sacrificed the soldiery. Napoleon,
who was well aware of this little weakness, always offered them the
most flattering personal terms.]

[Footnote 4: The same man who had been imposed upon by a similar ruse
at Ulm by the Archduke Ferdinand. Napoleon dismissed him the service.]

[Footnote 5: Massenbach published an anonymous charge against Bluecher,
which that general publicly refuted.]

[Footnote 6: While the unfortunate Henry von Buelow, whose wise
counsels had been despised, was torn from his prison to be delivered
to the Russians, whose behavior at Austerlitz he had blamed. On his
route he was maliciously represented as a friend to the French and
exposed to the insults of the rabble, who bespattered him with mud,
and to such brutal treatment from the Cossacks that he died of his
wounds at Riga. Never had a prophet a more ungrateful country. He was
delivered by his fellow-citizens to an ignominious death for
attempting their salvation, for pointing out the means by which alone
their safety could be insured, and for exposing the wretches by whom
they were betrayed.]

[Footnote 7: In the "Trumpet of the Holy War," he had summoned the
nation to take up arms against the heathens (the French). He breathed
war and flames. In his address to the king, he said, "The idle parade
of the ruler during a long peace has never maintained a state!" He
excited the hatred of the people against the French, telling them to
harbor "such hatred against the enemy, like men who knew how to hate!"
After thus aiding to kindle the flames of war, he went over to the
French and wrote the letter to Bignon which that author has inserted
in his History of France: "Like Ganymede to the seat of the gods, have
I been borne by the eagle to Fontainebleau, there to serve a god."]

[Footnote 8: The conduct of these deserters, how, decorated with the
French cockade, they treated the German population with unheard-of
insolence, is given in detail by Seume.]

[Footnote 9: Courbiere, Herrmann, and Neumann of Cosel were bourgeois:
the commandants of the other fortresses, so disgracefully ceded, were,
without exception, nobles.]

[Footnote 10: Bignon remarks that the queen, Louisa, who left no means
untried in order to save as much as possible of Prussia, came somewhat
too late, when Napoleon had already entered into an agreement with
Russia. Hence Napoleon's inflexibility, which was the more insulting
owing to the apparently yielding silence with which, from a feeling of
politeness, he sometimes received the personal petitions of the queen,
to which he would afterward send a written refusal. The part played in
this affair by Alexander was far from honorable, and Bignon says with
great justice, "The emperor of Russia must at that time have had but
little judgement, if he imagined that taking Prussia in such a manner
under his protection would be honorable to the protector." With a view
of appeasing public opinion in Germany and influencing it in favor of
the alliance between France and Russia, Zschokke, who was at that time
in Napoleon's pay, published a mean-spirited pamphlet, entitled, "Will
the human race gain by the present political changes?"]

[Footnote 11: The elector, William, who had solicited permission to
remain neutral, having made great military preparations and received
the Prussians with open arms, was, in Napoleon's twenty-seventh
bulletin, deposed with expressions of the deepest contempt. "The house
of Hesse-Cassel has for many years past sold its subjects to England,
and by this means has the elector collected his immense wealth. May
this mean and avaricious conduct prove the ruin of his house."--Louis,
Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, was threatened with similar danger for
inclining on the side of Prussia, but perceived his peril in time to
save himself from destruction.]

[Footnote 12: Marshal Lefebvre, who had taken the city, was created
duke of Dantzig. The city, however, did not belong to him, but became
a republic; notwithstanding which it was at first compelled to pay a
contribution, amounting to twenty million francs, to Napoleon, to
maintain a strong French garrison at its expense, and was fleeced in
every imaginable way. A stop was consequently put to trade, the
wealthiest merchants became bankrupt, and Napoleon's satraps
established their harems and celebrated their orgies in their
magnificent houses and gardens, and, by their unbridled license,
demoralized to an almost incredible degree the staid manners of the
quondam pious Lutheran citizens. Vide Blech, The Miseries of Dantzig,

[Footnote 13: One of the handsomest men of his time and the Adonis of
many a princely dame.]

CCLV. The Rhenish Confederation

The whole of western Europe bent in lowly submission before the genius
of Napoleon; Russia was bound by the silken chains of flattery;
England, Turkey, Sweden, and Portugal, alone bade him defiance.
England, whose fleets ruled the European seas, who lent her aid to his
enemies, and instigated their opposition, was his most dangerous foe.
By a gigantic measure, known as the continental system, he sought to
undermine her power. The whole of the continent of Europe, as far as
his influence was felt, was, by an edict, published at Berlin on the
21st of November, 1806, closed against British trade; nay, he went so
far as to lay an embargo on all English goods lying in store and to
make prisoners of war of all the English at that time on the
continent. All intercourse between England and the rest of Europe was
prohibited. But Napoleon's attempt to ruin the commerce of England was
merely productive of injury to himself; the promotion of every branch
of industry on the continent could not replace the loss of its foreign
trade; the products of Europe no longer found their way to the more
distant parts of the globe, to be exchanged for colonial luxuries,
which, with the great majority of the people, more particularly with
the better classes, had become necessaries, and numbers who had but
lately lauded Napoleon to the skies regarded him with bitter rage on
being compelled to relinquish their wonted coffee and sugar.

Napoleon, meanwhile, undeterred by opposition, enforced his
continental system. Russia, actuated by jealousy of England and
flattered by the idea, with which Napoleon had, at Tilsit, inspired
the emperor Alexander, of sharing with him the empire of a world,
aided his projects. The first step was to secure to themselves
possession of the Baltic; the king of Sweden, Napoleon's most
implacable foe, was to be dethroned, and Sweden to be promised to
Frederick, prince-regent of Denmark, in order to draw him into the
interests of the allied powers of France and Russia. The scheme,
however, transpired in time to be frustrated. An English fleet, with
an army, among which was the German Legion, composed of Hanoverian
refugees, on board, attacked, and, after a fearful bombardment, took
Copenhagen, and either destroyed or carried off the whole of the
Danish fleet, September, 1807.[1] The British fleet, on its triumphant
return through the Sound, was saluted at Helsingfors by the king of
Sweden, who invited the admirals to breakfast. The island of
Heligoland, which belonged to Holstein and consequently formed part of
the possessions of Denmark, and which carried on a great smuggling
trade between that country and the continent, was at that time also
seized by the British.

Napoleon revenged himself by a bold stroke in Spain. He proposed the
partition of Portugal to that power, and, under that pretext, sent
troops across the Pyrenees. The licentious queen of Spain, Maria
Louisa Theresa of Parma, and her paramour, Godoy, who had, on account
of the treaty between France and Spain, received the title of Prince
of Peace, reigned at that time in the name of the imbecile king,
Charles IV. His son, Ferdinand, placed himself at the head of the
democratic faction, by which Godoy was regarded with the most deadly
hatred. Both parties, however, conscious of their want of power,
sought aid from Napoleon, who flattered each in turn, with a view of
rendering the one a tool for the destruction of the other. The Prince
of Peace was overthrown by a popular tumult; Ferdinand VII. was
proclaimed king, and his father, Charles IV., was compelled to
abdicate. These events were apparently countenanced by Napoleon, who
invited the youthful sovereign to an interview; Ferdinand,
accordingly, went to Bayonne and was--taken prisoner. The Prince of
Peace, on the eve of flying from Spain, where his life was no longer
safe, with his treasures and with the queen, persuaded the old king,
Charles, also to go to Bayonne, where his person was instantly seized.
Both he and his son were compelled to renounce their right to the
throne of Spain and to abdicate in favor of Joseph, Napoleon's
brother, the 5th of May, 1808. The elevation of Joseph to the Spanish
throne was followed by that of Murat to the throne of Naples. The
haughty Spaniard, however, refused to be trampled under foot, and his
proud spirit disdained to accept a king imposed upon him by such
unparalleled treachery. Napoleon's victorious troops were, for the
first time, routed by peasants, an entire army was taken prisoner at
Baylen, and another, in Portugal, was compelled to retreat. Napoleon's
veterans were scattered by monks and peasants, a proof, to the eternal
disgrace of every subject people, that the invincibility of a nation
depends but upon its will.

Napoleon did not conduct the war in Spain in person during the first
campaign; the tranquillity of the North had first to be secured. For
this purpose, he held a personal conference, in October, 1808, with
the emperor Alexander at Erfurt, whither the princes of Germany
hastened to pay their devoirs, humbly as their ancestors of yore to
conquering Attila. The company of actors brought in Napoleon's train
from Paris boasted of gaining the plaudits of a royal parterre, and a
French sentinel happening to call to the watch to present arms to one
of the kings there dancing attendance was reproved by his officer with
the observation, "Ce n'est qu un roi."[2] Both emperors, for the
purpose of offering a marked insult to Prussia, attended a great
harehunt on the battlefield of Jena. It was during this conference
that Napoleon and Alexander divided between themselves the sovereignty
of Europe, Russia undertaking the subjugation of Sweden and the
seizure of Finland, France the conquest of Spain and Portugal.

The period immediately subsequent to the fall of the ancient empire
forms the blackest page in the history of Germany. The whole of the
left bank of the Rhine was annexed to France. The people,
notwithstanding the improvement that took place in the administration
under Bon Jean St. Andre, groaned beneath the exorbitant taxes and the
conscription. The commerce on the Rhine had almost entirely
ceased.[3]--The grandduchy of Berg was, until 1808, governed with
great mildness by Avar, the French minister.--Holland had, since 1801,
remained under the administration of her benevolent governor,
Schimmelpenninck, but had been continually drained by the imposition
of additional income taxes, which, in 1804, amounted to six per cent
on the capital in the country. Commerce had entirely ceased, smuggling
alone excepted. In 1806, the Dutch were commanded to entreat Napoleon
to grant them a king in the person of his brother Louis, who fixed his
residence in the venerable council-house at Amsterdam, and, it must be
confessed, endeavored to promote the real interests of his new

The Swiss, with characteristic servility, testified the greatest zeal
on every occasion for the emperor Napoleon, celebrated his fete-day,
and boasted of his protection,[5] and of the freedom they were still
permitted to enjoy. Freedom of thought was expressly prohibited.
Sycophants, in the pay of the foreign ruler, as, for instance,
Zschokke, alone guided public opinion. In Zug, any person who ventured
to speak disparagingly of the Swiss in the service of France was
declared an enemy to his country and exposed to severe punishment.[6]
The Swiss shed their blood in each and all of Napoleon's campaigns,
and aided him to reduce their kindred nations to abject slavery.[7]

The Rhenish confederation shared the advantages of French influence to
the same degree in which it, in common with the old states on the left
bank of the Rhine, was subject to ecclesiastical corruption or to the
upstart vanity incidental to petty states. Wherever enlightenment and
liberty had formerly existed, as in Protestant and constitutional
Wuertemberg, the violation of the ancient rights of the people was
deeply felt, and the new aristocracy, modelled on that of France,
appeared as unbearable to the older inhabitants of Wuertemberg as did
the loss of their ancient independence to the mediatized princes and
lordlings. King Frederick, notwithstanding his refusal to send troops
into Spain, was compelled to furnish an enormous contingent for the
wars in eastern Europe; the conscription and taxes were heavily felt,
and the peasant was vexed by the great hunts, celebrated by
Matthisson, the court-poet, as festivals of Diana.[8] In Bavaria, the
administration of Maximilian Joseph and of his minister, Montgelas,
although arbitrary in its measures, promoted, like that of Frederick
II. and Joseph II., the advance of enlightenment and true liberty. The
monasteries were closed, the punishment of the rack was abolished,
unity was introduced in the administration of the state; the schools,
the police, and the roads were improved, toleration was established;
in a word, the dreams of the Illuminati, thirty years before this
period, were, in almost every respect, realized. But, on the other
hand, patriotism was here more unknown than in any other part of
Germany. Christopher von Aretin set himself up as an apparitor to the
French police, and, in 1810, published a work against the few German
patriots still remaining, whom he denounced, in the fourteenth number
of the Literary Gazette of Upper Germany, as "Preachers of Germanism,
criminals and traitors, by whom the Rhenish confederation was
polluted." The crown prince of Bavaria, who deeply lamented the rule
of France and the miseries of Germany, offers a contrary example. A
constitution, naturally a mere tool in the hand of the ministry, was
bestowed, in 1808, upon Bavaria.

The government of Charles von Dalberg, the prince primate and
grandduke of Frankfort, was one of the most despicable of those
composing the Rhenish confederation. Equally insensible to the duties
attached to his high name and station,[9] he flattered the foreign
tyrant to an extent unsurpassed by any of the other base sycophants at
that time abounding in the empire; with folded hands would he at all
times invoke the blessing of the Most High on the head of the almighty
ruler of the earth, and celebrate each of his victories with hymns of
gratitude and joy, while his ministers misruled and tyrannized over
the country,[10] whose freedom they loudly vaunted.[11]--In Wuerzburg,
the French ambassador reigned with the despotism of an Eastern
satrap.[12] Saxe-Coburg[13] and Anhalt-Gotha,[14] where the native
tyrant was sheltered beneath the wing of Napoleon, were in the most
lamentable state.--In Saxony, the government remained unaltered.
Frederick Augustus, filled with gratitude for the lenity with which he
had been treated after the war and for the grant of the royal dignity,
remained steadily faithful to Napoleon, but introduced no internal
innovations into the government. The adhesion of Saxe-Weimar to the
Rhenish confederation was of deplorable consequence to Germany, the
great poets assembled there by the deceased Duchess Amalia also
scattering incense around Napoleon.

The kingdom of Westphalia was doomed to taste to the dregs the bitter
cup of humiliation. The new king, Jerome, who declared, "Je veux qu'on
respecte la dignite de l'homme et du citoyen," bestowed, it is true,
many and great benefits upon his subjects; the system of flogging, so
degrading to the soldier, was abolished, the judicature was improved,
the administration simplified, and the German in authority,
notwithstanding his traditionary gruffness, became remarkable for
urbanity toward the citizens and peasants. But Napoleon's despotic
rule ever demanded fresh sacrifices of men and money and increased
severity on the part of the police, in order to quell the spirit of
revolt. Jerome, conscious of being merely his brother's
representative, consoled himself for his want of independence in his
gay court at Cassel.[15] He had received but a middling education, and
had, at one period, held a situation in the marine at Baltimore in
North America. While still extremely young, placed unexpectedly upon a
throne, more as a splendid puppet than as an independent sovereign, he
gave way to excesses, natural, and, under the circumstances, almost
excusable. It would be ungenerous to repeat the sarcasms showered upon
him on his expulsion. The execrations heaped, at a later period, upon
his head, ought with far greater justice to have fallen upon those of
the Germans themselves, and more particularly upon those of that
portion of the aristocracy that vied with the French in enriching the
chronique scandaleuse of Cassel, and upon those of the citizens who,
under Bongars, the head of the French police, acted the part of spies
upon and secret informers against their wretched countrymen.--The
farcical donation of a free constitution to the people put a climax to
their degradation. On the 2d of July, 1808, Jerome summoned the
Westphalian Estates to Cassel and opened the servile assembly, thus
arbitrarily convoked, with extreme pomp. The unfortunate deputies, who
had, on the conclusion of the lengthy ceremonial, received an
invitation _assister au repas_ at the palace and had repaired thither,
their imaginations, whetted by hunger, revelling in visions of
gastronomic delight, were sorely discomfited on discovering that they
were simply expected "to look on while the sovereign feasted." The
result of this assembly was, naturally, a unanimous tribute of
admiration and an invocation of blessings on the head of the foreign
ruler, the principal part in which was played by John Mueller, who
attempted to convince his fellow countrymen that by means of the
French usurpation they had first received the boon of true liberty.
This cheaply-bought apostate said, in his usual hyperbolical style,
"It is a marked peculiarity of the northern nations, more especially
of those of German descent, that, whenever God has, in His wisdom,
resolved to bestow upon them a new kind or a higher degree of
civilization, the impulse has ever been given from without. This
impulse was given to us by Napoleon, by him before whom the earth is
silent, God having given the whole world into his hand, nor can
Germany at the present period have a wish ungratified, Napoleon having
reorganized her as the nursery of European civilization. Too sublime
to condescend to every-day polity, he has given durability to Germany!
Happy nation! what an interminable vista of glory opens to thy view!"
Thus spoke John Mueller. Thousands of Germans had been converted into
abject slaves, but none other than he was there ever found, with
sentimental phrases to gild the chains of his countrymen, to vaunt
servility as liberty and dishonor as glory.[16] John Mueller's
unprincipled address formed, as it were, the turning-point of German
affairs. Self-degradation could go no further. The spirit of the sons
of Germany henceforward rose, and, with manly courage, they sought, by
their future actions, to wipe off the deep stain of their former guilt
and dishonor.

[Footnote 1: See accounts of this affair in the Recollections of a
Legionary, Hanover, 1826, and in Beamisch's History of the Legion.]

[Footnote 2: A graphic description of these times is to be met with in
Joanna Schopenhauer's Tour on the Lower Rhine. The kings of Bavaria,
Wurtemberg, Westphalia, Saxony, the prince primate, the hereditary
prince of Baden and of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the duke of Weimar, the
princes of Hobenzollern, Hesse-Rotenburg, and Hesse-Philippsthal, were
present. No one belonging to the house of Austria was there: of that
of Prussia there was Prince William, the king's brother. The
Allgemeine Zeitung of that day wrote: "The fact of Napoleon's sending
for the privy-councillor, Von Goethe, into his cabinet, and conversing
with him for upward of an hour, appears to us well worthy of mention.
What German would not rejoice that the great emperor should have
entered into such deep conversation with such a fitting representative
of our noblest, and now, alas, sole remaining national possession, our
art and learning, by whose preservation alone can our nationality be
saved from utter annihilation." Notwithstanding which the company of
actors belonging to the theatre at Weimar, which was close at hand and
had been under Goethe's instruction, was not once allowed to perform
on the Erfurt stage, which Napoleon had supplied with actors from
Paris. Wieland was also compelled to remain standing for an hour in
Napoleon's presence, and when, at length, unable, owing to the
weakness of old age, to continue in that position, he ventured to ask
permission to retire, Napoleon is said to have considered the request
an unwarrantable liberty. The literary heroes of Weimar took no
interest in the country from which they had received so deep a tribute
of admiration. Not a patriotic sentiment escaped their lips. At the
time when the deepest wound was inflicted on the Tyrol, Goethe gave to
the world his frivolous "Wahlverwandschaften," which was followed by a
poem in praise of Napoleon, of whom he says:

"Doubts, that have baffled thousands, _he_ has solved;
Ideas, o'er which centuries have brooded,
_His_ giant mind intuitively compassed."]

[Footnote 3: The great and dangerous robber bands of the notorious
Damian Hessel, and of Schinderhannes, afford abundant proof of the
demoralized condition of the people.]

[Footnote 4: On the 12th of January, 1807, a ship laden with four
hundred quintals of gunpowder blew up in the middle of the city of
Leyden, part of which was thereby reduced to ruins, and one hundred
and fifty persons, among others the celebrated professors Luzac and
Kleit, were killed.]

[Footnote 5: On the opening of the federal diet in 1806, the
Landammann lauded "the omnipotent benevolence of the gracious
mediator." In earlier times, the Swiss would, on the contrary, have
boasted of their affording protection to, not of receiving protection
from, France.]

[Footnote 6: In order to prove of what importance they considered the
benevolent protection of Napoleon the Great.--_Attgemeine Zeitung of
1810, No_. 90.]

[Footnote 7: Their general, Von der Wied, who was taken prisoner at
Talavera in Spain and died shortly afterward of a pestilential
disease, had done signal service to France, in 1798 in Switzerland, in
1792 in Italy, in 1805 in Austria, in 1806 in Prussia, and finally in
Spain.--_Allgemeine Zeitung of 1811, No_. 46.]

[Footnote 8: Personal freedom was restricted by innumerable decrees.
Freedom of speech, formerly great in Wuertemberg, was strictly
repressed; all social confidence was annihilated. A swarm of informers
ensnared those whom the secret police were unable to entrap. The
secrecy of letters was violated. Trials in criminal cases were no
longer allowed to be public. The sentence passed upon the accused was,
particularly in cases of the highest import, not delivered by the
judge as dictated by the law, but by the despot's caprice.--The
conscription was enforced with increased severity and tyranny.--The
natural right of emigration was abolished.--The people were disarmed,
and not even the inhabitants of solitary farms and hamlets were
allowed to possess arms in order to defend themselves against wolves
and robbers. A man was punished for killing a mad dog, because the gun
used for that purpose had been illegally secreted. Pass-tickets were
given to and returned by all desirous of passing the gates of the
pettiest town. The members of the higher aristocracy were compelled,
under pain of being deprived of the third of their income, to spend
three months in the year at court.--The citizen was oppressed by a
variety of fresh taxes, by the newly-created monopolies of tobacco,
salt, etc., and colonial imposts, by the tenfold rise of the excise
and custom-house dues, etc. Vide Zahn in the Wuertemberg Annual.
Zschokke, meanwhile, in his pamphlet already mentioned, "Will the
human race gain," etc., advocated republican equality and liberty
under a monarchical constitution.]

[Footnote 9: The Von Dalbergs of Franconia were the first hereditary
barons of the Holy Roman Empire, and one of their race was dubbed
knight at each imperial coronation. Hence the demand of the imperial
herald, "Is no Dalberg here?" And a Dalberg it was, who, in Napoleon's
name, declared to the German emperor that he no longer recognized an
emperor of Germany.--In 1797, Dalberg had, at the diet, and again in
1805, expressed himself with great zeal against France; on the present
occasion he was Napoleon's first satrap.]

[Footnote 10: They sold the demesnes of Hanau and Fulda and received
the sums produced by the sale in gift from the grandduke.--_Goerres's
Rhenish Mercury, A.D. 1814, No. 168._]

[Footnote 11: They were barefaced enough to bestow a constitution,
and, in 1810, to open a diet at Hanau, although all the newspapers
had, five days previously, been suppressed, and orders had been issued
that the editor of the only newspaper permitted for the future was to
be appointed by the police.--_Allgemeine Zeitung, No. 294._]

[Footnote 12: Count Montholon-Semonville sold justice and mercy. Vide
Brockhaus's Deutsche Blaetter, 1814, No. 101.]

[Footnote 13: The duke, Francis, allowed the country to be mercilessly
drained and impoverished by the minister, Von Kretschmann. He lived on
extremely bad terms with his uncle, Frederick Josias, duke of Coburg,
the celebrated Austrian general. Francis died in 1806. Ernest, his son
and successor, delivered the country, in 1809, from Kretschmann's
tyranny, and, in 1811, bestowed upon it a constitution, which was,
nevertheless, merely an imitation of that of Westphalia.]

[Footnote 14: The prince, Augustus Christian Frederick, contracted
debts to an enormous amount, completely drained his petty territory,
and even seized bail-money. Military amusements, drunkenness and other
gross excesses, the preservation of enormous herds of deer which
destroyed the fields of the peasantry, formed the pleasures of this
prince.--_Stenzel's History of Anhalt._]

[Footnote 15: Napoleon nicknamed him _roi de coulisses_, and gave him
a guardian in his ambassador, Reinhard, a person of celebrity during
the Revolution. Jerome's first ministers were friends of his youth;
the Creole, Le Camus, who was created Count Puerstenstein, and Malchus,
whose office it was to fill a bottomless treasury. Vide Hormayr,
Archive 5, 458, and the Secret History of the Court of Westphalia,

[Footnote 16: Vide Strombeck's Life and the Allgemeine Zeitung of
September, 1808. Besides John Mueller and Aretin, mention may, with
equal justice, be made of Orome of Geissen and Zschokke, a native of
Magdeburg naturalized in Switzerland, who, in 1807, ventured to
declare in public that Napoleon had done more for Swiss independence
than William Tell five hundred years ago; who, paid by Napoleon,
defamed the noble-spirited Spaniards and Tyrolese in 1815, decried the
enthusiastic spirit animating Germany, and afterward whitewashed
himself by his liberal tirades. With these may also be associated
Murhard, the publisher of the _Moniteur Westphalien_, K.J. Schuetz, the
author of a work upon Napoleon, the Berlinese Jew, Saul Asher, the
author of a scandalous work, entitled "Germanomanie," and of a
slanderous article in Zschokke's Miscellanies against Prussia,
Kosegarten the poet, who, in 1809, delivered a speech in eulogy of
Napoleon, far surpassing all in bombast and mean adulation. Benturini,
at that time, also termed Napoleon the emanation of the universal
Spirit, a second incarnation of the Deity, a second savior of the
world. In Posselt's European Annals of 1807, a work by a certain W.
upon the political interests of Germany appeared, and concluded as
follows: "Let us raise to him (Napoleon) a national monument, worthy
of the first and only benefactor of the nations of Germany. Let his
name be engraved in gigantic letters of shining gold on Germany's
highest and steepest pinnacle, whence, lighted by the effulgent rays
of morn, it may be visible far over the plains on which he bestowed a
happier futurity!" This writer also drew a comparison between Napoleon
and Charlemagne, in which he designated the latter a barbarous despot
and the former the new savior of the world. He says, "Napoleon first
solved the enigma of equality and liberty--his chief aim was the
prevention of despotism--his chief desire, to eternalize the dominion
of virtue." In the course of 1808, it was said in the essay, "On the
Regeneration of Germany," that the Germans were still children whom it
was solely possible for the French to educate: "Our language is also
not logical like French--if we intend to attain unity, we must adhere
with heart and soul to him who has smoothed the path to it, to him,
our securest support, to him, whose name outshines that of
Charlemagne--foreign princes in German countries are no proof of
subjection, they, on the contrary, most surely warrant our continued
existence as a nation." In France sixty authors dedicated their works,
within the space of a year, to the emperor Napoleon--in Germany,

CCLVI. Resuscitation of Patriotism Throughout Germany--Austria's

The general slavery, although most severely felt in Eastern Germany,
bore there a less disgraceful character. Austria and Prussia had been
conquered, pillaged, reduced in strength and political importance,
while the Rhenish states, forgetful that it is ever less disgraceful
to yield to an overpowering enemy than voluntarily to lend him aid,
had shared in and profited by the triumph of the empire's foe. Austria
and Prussia suffered to a greater extent than the Rhenish
confederation, but they preserved a higher degree of independence.
Prussia, although almost annihilated by her late disasters,[1] still
dreamed of future liberation. Austria had, notwithstanding her
successive and numerous defeats, retained the greater share of
independence, but her subjection, although to a lesser degree, was the
more disgraceful on account of her former military glory and her
preponderance as a political power in Germany. With steady
perseverance and unfaltering courage she opposed the attacks of the
foreign tyrant against the empire, and, France's first and last
antagonist, the most faithful champion of the honor of Germany, she
rose, with redoubled vigor, after each successive defeat, to renew the
unequal struggle.

Prussia had been overcome, because, instead of uniting with the other
states of Germany, she had first abandoned them to be afterward
deserted by them in her turn, and because, instead of arming her
warlike people against every foreign foe, she had habituated her
citizens to unarmed effeminacy and had rested her sole support on a
mercenary army, an artificial and spiritless automaton, separated from
and unsympathizing with the people. The idea that the salvation of
Prussia could now alone be found in her reconciliation with the
neighboring powers of Germany, in a general confederation, in the
patriotism of her armed citizens, had already arisen. But, in order to
inspire the citizen with enthusiasm, he must first, by the secure and
free possession of his rights and by his participation in the public
weal, be deeply imbued with a consciousness of freedom. The slave has
no country; the freeman alone will lay down his life in its defence.
In those times of Germany's deepest degradation and suffering, men for
the first time again heard speak of a great and common fatherland, of
national fame and honor; and liberty, that glorious name, was uttered
not only by those who groaned beneath the rule of the despotic
foreigner, but even by those who deplored the loss of the internal
liberty of their country, the gradual subjection of the proud and
free-spirited German to native tyranny. The king of Prussia, not
content with morally reorganizing his army, also bestowed wise laws,
which restored the citizen and the peasant to their rights, to their
dignity as men, of which they had for so long been deprived by the
nobility, the monopolizers of every privilege. The emancipation of the
peasant essentially consisted in the abolition of feudal servitude and
forced labor; that of the citizen, in the donation of a free municipal
constitution, of self-administration, and freedom of election. The
nobility were, at the same time, despoiled of the exclusive
appointment to the higher civil and military posts and of the
exclusive possession of landed property. Each citizen possessed the
right, hitherto strictly prohibited, of purchasing baronial estates,
and the nobility were, on their part, permitted to exercise trades,
which a miserable prejudice had hitherto deemed incompatible with
noble birth. These new institutions date from 1808 and are due to the
energy of the minister, Stein.

This noble-spirited German was the founder of a secret society, the
_Tugendbund_, by which a general insurrection against Napoleon was
silently prepared throughout Germany. Among its members were numerous
statesmen, officers, and literati. Among the latter, Arndt gained
great note by his popular style, Jahn by his influence over the rising
generation. Jahn reintroduced gymnastics, so long neglected, into
education, as a means of heightening moral courage by the increase of
physical strength.[2] Scharnhorst, meanwhile, although restricted to
the prescribed number of troops, created a new army by continually
exchanging trained soldiers for raw recruits, and secretly purchased
an immense quantity of arms, so that a considerable force could, in
case of necessity, be speedily assembled. He also had all the brass
battery guns secretly converted into field-pieces and replaced by iron
guns. Napoleon's spies, however, came upon the trace of the
_Tugendbund_. Stein, exposed by an intercepted letter, was outlawed[3]
by Napoleon and compelled to quit Prussia. He was succeeded by
Hardenberg, by whom the treaty of Basel had formerly been concluded
and whose nomination was publicly approved of by Napoleon. Scharnhorst
and Julius Gruner, the head of the Berlin police, were also deprived
of their offices. The Berlin university, nevertheless, continued to
give evidence of a better spirit. Enlightenment and learning, on their
decrease at Frankfort on the Oder, here found their headquarters.
Halle had become Westphalian, and the universities of Rinteln and
Helmstaedt had, from a similar cause, been closed.

Austria also felt her humiliation too deeply not to be inspired, like
Prussia, with an instinct of self-preservation. The imperial dignity
and catholicism were here closely associated with the memory of the
Middle Ages, whose magnificence and grandeur were once more disclosed
to the people in the masterly productions of the writers of the day.
Hence the unison created by Frederick Schlegel between the romantic
poets and antiquarians of Germany and Viennese policy. The
predilection for ancient German art and poetry had, in the literary
world, been merely produced by the reaction of German intelligence
against foreign imitation; this literary reaction, however, happened
coincidently with and aided that in the political world. The
Nibelungen, the Minnesingers, the ancient chronicles, became a popular
study. The same enthusiasm inspired the liberal-spirited poets, Tieck,
Arnim, and Brentano; Fouque charmed the rising generation and the
multitude with his extravagant descriptions of the age of chivalry;
the learned researches of Grimm, Hagen, Busching, Graeter, etc., into
German antiquity, at that time, excited general interest, but the
glowing colors in which Joseph Gorres, himself a former Jacobin, and
amid the half Gallicized inhabitants of Coblentz, revived, as if by
magic, the Middle Age on the ruin-strewed banks of the Rhine caused
the deepest delight. Two men, Stein, now a refugee in Austria, and
Count Munster, first of all Hanoverian minister and afterward English
ambassador at Petersburg, who kept up a constant correspondence with
Stein and conducted the secret negotiations in the name of Great
Britain, were unwearied in their endeavors to forge arms against
Napoleon. In Austria, Count John Philip von Stadion, who had, since
the December of 1805, been placed at the head of the ministry, had
both the power and the will to repair the blunders committed by Thugut
and Cobenzl.

The Russo-gallic alliance was viewed with terror by Austria. Europe
had, to a certain degree, been partitioned at Erfurt, by Napoleon and
Alexander. Fresh sacrifices were evidently on the eve of being
extorted from Germany. Russia had resolved at any price to gain
possession of either the whole or a part of Turkey, and offered to
confirm Napoleon in that of Bohemia, on condition of being permitted
to seize Moldavia and Wallachia.[4] The danger was urgent. Austria,
sold by Russia to France, could alone defend herself against both her
opponents by an immense exertion of the national power of Germany. The
old and faulty system had been fearfully revenged. The disunion of the
German princes, the despotism of the aristocratic administrations, the
estrangement of the people from all public affairs, had all conduced
to the present degradation of Germany. Necessity now induced an
alteration in the system of government and an appeal to the German
people, whose voice had hitherto been vainly raised. The example set
by Spain was to be followed. Stein, who was at that time at Vienna,
kindled the glowing embers to a flame. The military reforms begun at
an earlier period by the Archduke Charles were carried out on a wider
basis. A completely new institution, that of the _Landwehr_ or armed
citizens, in contradistinction with the mercenary soldiery, was set on
foot. Enthusiasm and patriotism were not wanting. The circumstance of
the pope's imprisonment in Rome by Napoleon sufficed to rouse the
Catholics. Everything was hoped for from a general rising throughout
Germany against the French. Precipitation, however, ruined all.
Prussia was still too much weakened, her fortresses were still in the
hands of the French, and Austria inspired but little confidence, while
the Rhenish confederation solely aimed at aggrandizing itself by fresh
wars at the expense of that empire, and, notwithstanding the
inclination to revolt evinced by the people in different parts of
Germany, more particularly in Westphalia, the terror inspired by
Napoleon kept them, as though spellbound, beneath their galling yoke.

While Napoleon was engaged in the Peninsula, Austria levied almost the
whole of her able-bodied men and equipped an army, four hundred
thousand strong, at the head of which no longer foreign generals, but
the princes of the house of Habsburg, were placed. The Archduke
Charles[5] set off, in 1809, for the Rhine, John for Italy, Ferdinand
for Poland. The first proclamation, signed by Prince Rosenberg and
addressed to the Bavarians, was as follows: "You are now beginning to
perceive that we are Germans like yourselves, that the general
interest of Germany touches you more nearly than that of a nation of
robbers, and that the German nation can alone be restored to its
former glory by acting in unison. Become once more what you once were,
brave Germans! Or have you, Bavarian peasants and citizens, gained
aught by your prince being made into a king? by the extension of his
authority over a few additional square miles? Have your taxes been
thereby decreased? Do you enjoy greater security in your persons and
property?" The proclamation of the Archduke Charles "to the German
nation," declared: "We have taken up arms to restore independence and
national honor to Germany. Our cause is the cause of Germany. Show
yourselves deserving of our esteem! The German, forgetful of what is
due to himself and to his country, is our only foe." An anonymous but
well-known proclamation also declared: "Austria beheld--a sight that
drew tears of blood from the heart of every true-born German--you, O
nations of Germany! so deeply debased as to be compelled to submit to
the legislation of the foreigner and to allow your sons, the youth of
Germany, to be led to war against their still unsubdued brethren. The
shameful subjection of millions of once free-born Germans will ere
long be completed. Austria exhorts you to raise your humbled necks, to
burst your slavish chains!" And in another address was said: "How long
shall Hermann mourn over his degenerate children? Was it for this that
the Cherusci fought in the Teutoburg forest? Is every spark of German
courage extinct? Does the sound of your clanking chains strike like
music on your ears? Germans, awake! shake off your death-like slumber
in the arms of infamy! Germans! shall your name become the derision of
after ages?"

The Austrian army, instead of vigorously attacking and disarming
Bavaria, but slowly advanced, and permitted the Bavarians to withdraw
unharassed for the purpose of forming a junction with the other troops
of the Rhenish confederation under Napoleon, who had hastened from
Spain on the first news of the movements of Austria. The hopes of the
German patriots could not have been more fearfully disappointed or the
German name more deeply humiliated than by the scorn with which
Napoleon, on this occasion, placed himself at the head of the nations
of western Germany, by whose arms alone, for he had but a handful of
French with him, he overcame their eastern brethren at a moment in
which the German name and German honor were more loudly invoked. "I
have not come among you," said Napoleon smilingly to the Bavarians,
Wurtembergers, etc., by whom he was surrounded, "I am not come among
you as the emperor of France, but as the protector of your country and
of the German confederation. No Frenchman is among you; _you alone_
shall beat the Austrians."[6] The extent of the blindness of the
Rhenish confederation[7] is visible in their proclamations. The king
of Saxony even called Heaven to his aid, and said to his soldiers,
"Draw your swords against Austria with full trust in the aid of Divine

In the April of 1809, Napoleon led the Rhenish confederated troops,
among which the Bavarians under General Wrede chiefly distinguished
themselves, against the Austrians, who had but slowly advanced, and
defeated them in five battles, on five successive days, the most
glorious triumph of his surpassing tactics, at Pfaffenhofen, Thann,
Abensberg, Landshut, Eckmuhl, and Ratisbon. The Archduke Charles
retired into Bohemia in order to collect reinforcements, but General
Hiller was, on account of the delay in repairing the fortifications of
Linz, unable to maintain that place, the possession of which was
important on account of its forming a connecting point between Bohemia
and the Austrian Oberland. Hiller, however, at least saved his honor
by pushing forward to the Traun, and, in a fearfully bloody encounter
at Ebelsberg, capturing three French eagles, one of his colors alone
falling into the enemy's hands. He was, nevertheless, compelled to
retire before the superior forces of the French, and Napoleon entered
Vienna unopposed. A few balls from the walls of the inner city were
directed against the faubourg in his possession, but he no sooner
began to bombard the palace than the inner city yielded. The Archduke
Charles arrived, when too late, from Bohemia. Both armies, separated
by the Danube, stood opposed to one another in the vicinity of the
imperial city. Napoleon, in order to bring the enemy to a decisive
engagement, crossed the river close to the great island of Lobau. He
was received on the opposite bank near Aspern and Esslingen by the
Archduke Charles, and, after a dreadful battle, that was carried on
with unwearied animosity for two days, the 21st and 22d of May, 1809,
was for the first time completely beaten[9] and compelled to fly for
refuge to the island of Lobau. The rising stream had, meanwhile,
carried away the bridge, Napoleon's sole chance of escape to the
opposite bank. For two days he remained on the island with his
defeated troops, without provisions, and in hourly expectation of
being cut to pieces; the Austrians, however, neglected to turn the
opportunity to advantage and allowed the French leisure to rebuild the
bridge, a work of extreme difficulty. During six weeks afterward the
two armies continued to occupy their former positions under the walls
of Vienna on the right and left banks of the Danube, narrowly watching
each other's movements and preparing for a final struggle.

The Archduke John had successfully penetrated into Italy, where he had
defeated the viceroy, Eugene, at Salice and Fontana fredda. Favored by
the simultaneous revolt of the Tyrolese, his success appeared certain,
when the news of his brother's disaster compelled him to retreat. He
withdrew into Hungary,[10] whither he was pursued by Eugene, by whom
he was, on the 14th of June, defeated at Raab. The Archduke Ferdinand,
who had advanced as far as Warsaw, had been driven back by the Poles
under Poniatowski and by a Russian force sent by the emperor Alexander
to their aid, which, on this success, invaded Galicia. Napoleon
rewarded the Poles for their aid by allowing Russia to seize Wallachia
and Moldavia.

The fate of Austria now depended on the issue of the struggle about to
take place on the Danube. The archduke's troops were still elated with
recent victory, but Napoleon had been strongly reinforced and again
began the attack at Wagram, not far from the battleground of Aspern.
The contest lasted two days, the 5th and 6th of July. The Austrians
fought with great personal gallantry, lost one of their colors, but
captured twelve golden eagles and standards of the enemy; but the
reserve body, intended to protect their left wing, failing to make its
appearance on the field, they were outflanked by Napoleon and driven
back upon Moravia. Every means of conveyance in Vienna was put into
requisition for the transport of the forty-five thousand men, wounded
on this occasion, to the hospitals, and this heartrending scene
indubitably contributed to strengthen the general desire for peace. An
armistice was, on the 12th of July, concluded at Znaym, and, after
long negotiation, was followed, on the 10th of October, by the treaty
of Vienna. Austria was compelled to cede Carniola, Trieste, Croatia
and Dalmatia to Napoleon, Salzburg, Berchtoldsgaden, the Innviertel,
and the Hausruckviertel to Bavaria, a part of Galicia to Warsaw and
another part to Russia. Count Stadion lost office and was succeeded by
Clement, Count von Metternich.--Frederick Stabs, the son of a preacher
of Nuamburg on the Saal, formed a resolution to poniard Napoleon at
Schoenbrunn, the imperial palace in the neighborhood of Vienna. Rapp's
suspicions became roused, and the young man was arrested before his
purpose could be effected. He candidly avowed his intention. "And if I
grant you your life?" asked Napoleon. "I would merely make use of the
gift to rob you, on the first opportunity, of yours," was the
undaunted reply. Four-and-twenty hours afterward the young man was
shot.[11] The ancient German race of Gotscheer in Carniola and the
people of Istria rose in open insurrection against the French and were
only put down by force.

Although Prussia had left Austria unsuccored during this war, many of
her subjects were animated with a desire to aid their Austrian
brethren. Schill, unable to restrain his impetuosity, quitted Berlin
on the 28th of April, for that purpose, with his regiment of hussars.
His conduct, although condemned by a sentence of the court-martial,
was universally applauded. Dornberg, an officer of Jerome's guard,
revolted simultaneously in Hesse, but was betrayed by a false friend
at the moment in which Jerome's person was to have been seized, and
was compelled to fly for his life. Schill merely advanced as far as
Wittenberg and Halberstadt, was again driven northward to Wismar, and
finally to Stralsund, by the superior forces of Westphalia and
Holland. In a bloody street-fight at Stralsund he split General
Carteret's, the Dutch general's head, and was himself killed by a
cannon-ball. Thus fell this young hero, true to his motto, "Better a
terrible end than endless terror." The Dutch cut off his head,
preserved it in spirits of wine, and placed it publicly in the Leyden
library, where it remained until 1837, when it was buried at Brunswick
in the grave of his faithful followers. Five hundred of his men, under
Lieutenant Brunow, escaped by forcing their way through the enemy. Of
the prisoners taken on this occasion, eleven officers were, by
Napoleon's command, shot at Wesel, fourteen subalterns and soldiers at
Brunswick, the rest, about six hundred in number, were sent in chains
to Toulon and condemned to the galleys.[12] Doernberg fled to England.
Katt, another patriot, assembled a number of veterans at Stendal and
advanced as far as Magdeburg, but was compelled to flee to the
Brunswickers in Bohemia. What might not have been the result had the
plan of the Archduke Charles to march rapidly through Franconia been
followed on the opening of the campaign?

William, duke of Brunswick, the son of the hapless Duke Ferdinand, had
quitted Oels, his sole possession, for Bohemia, where he had collected
a force two thousand strong, known as the black Brunswickers on
account of the color of their uniform and the death's head on their
helmets, with which he resolved to avenge his father's death.
Victorious in petty engagements over the Saxons at Zittau and over the
French under Junot at Berneck, he refused to recognize the armistice
between Austria and France, and, fighting his way through the enemy,
surprised Leipzig by night and there provided himself with ammunition
and stores. He was awaited at Halberstadt by the Westphalians under
Wellingerode, whom, notwithstanding their numerical superiority, he
completely defeated during the night of the 30th of July. Two days
later he was attacked in Brunswick, in his father's home, by an enemy
three times his superior, by the Westphalians under Rewbel, who
advanced from Celle while the Saxons and Dutch pursued him from
Erfurt. Aided by his brave citizens, many of whom followed his
fortunes, he was again victorious and was enabled by a speedy retreat,
in which he broke down all the bridges to his rear, to escape to
Elsfleth, whence he sailed to England.

In August, an English army, forty thousand strong, landed on the
island of Walcheren and attempted to create a diversion in Holland,
but its ranks were speedily thinned by disease, it did not venture up
the country and finally returned to England. The English,
nevertheless, displayed henceforward immense activity in the
Peninsula, where, aided by the brave and high-spirited population,[13]
they did great detriment to the French. In the English army in the
Peninsula were several thousand Germans, principally Hanoverian
refugees. There were also numerous deserters from the Rhenish
confederated troops, sent by Napoleon into Spain.

During the war in June, the king of Wurtemberg took possession of
Mergentheim, the chief seat of the Teutonic order, which had, up to
the present period, remained unsecularized. The surprised inhabitants
received the new Protestant authorities with demonstrations of rage
and revolted. They were the last and the only ones among all the
secularized or mediatized estates of the Empire that boldly attempted
opposition. They were naturally overpowered without much difficulty
and were cruelly punished. About thirty of them were shot by the
soldiery; six were executed; several wealthy burgesses and peasants
were condemned as criminals to work in chains in the new royal gardens
at Stuttgard. Thus miserably terminated the celebrated Teutonic order.

[Footnote 1: The whole of the revenues of Prussia were confiscated by
the French until 1808. The contribution of one hundred and forty
millions was, nevertheless, to be paid, and the French garrisons in
the Prussian fortresses of Glogau, Kuestrin, and Stettin were to be
maintained at the expense of Prussia. The suppression of the
monasteries in Silesia was far from lucrative, the commissioners, who
were irresponsible, carrying on a system of pillage, and landed
property having greatly fallen in value. The most extraordinary
imposts of every description were resorted to for the purpose of
raising a revenue, among other means, a third of all the gold and
silver in the country was called in. A coinage, still more debased,
was issued, and one more inferior still was smuggled into the country
by English coiners. In 1808, silver money fell two-thirds of its
current value and was even refused acceptance at that price.--The
French, moreover, lorded over the country with redoubled insolence,
broke every treaty, increased their garrisons, and occasionally laid
the most inopportune commands, in the form of a request, upon the
king; as, for instance, to lay under embargo and deliver up to them a
number of English merchantmen that had been driven into the Prussian
harbors by a dreadful storm. Bluecher, at that time governor of
Pomerania, restrained his fiery nature and patiently endured their
insolence, while silently brooding over deep and implacable revenge.]

[Footnote 2: When marching with his pupils out of Berlin, he would ask
the fresh ones as he passed beneath the Bradenburg gate, "What are you
thinking of now?" If the boy did not know what to answer, he would
give him a box on the ear, saying as he did so, "You should think of
this, how you can bring back the four fine statues of horses that once
stood over this gate and were carried by the French to Paris."]

[Footnote 3: Decree of 16th December, 1808: "A certain Stein, who is
attempting to create disturbances, is herewith declared the enemy of
France; his property shall be placed under sequestration, and his
person shall be secured." The Allgemeine Zeitung warns, at the same
time, in its 330th number, all German savants not to give way to
patriotic enthusiasm and to follow in John Mueller's footsteps.]

[Footnote 4: Bignon's History of France.]

[Footnote 5: He undertook the chief command with extreme unwillingness
and had long advised against the war, the time not having yet arrived,
Prussia being still adverse, Germany not as yet restored to her
senses, and experience having already proved to him how little he
could act as his judgment directed. How often had he not been made use
of and then suddenly neglected, been restrained, in the midst of his
operations, by secret orders, been permitted to conduct the first or
only the second part of a campaign, been placed in a subaltern
position when the chief command was rightfully his, or been forced to
accept of it when all was irremediably lost. Even on this occasion the
first measure advised by him, that of pushing rapidly through Bohemia
and Franconia, met with opposition. On the Maine and on the Weser
alone was there a hope of inspiring the people with enthusiasm, not in
Bavaria, where the hatred of the Austrians was irradicably rooted. It,
nevertheless, pleased the military advisers of the emperor at Vienna
to order the army to advance slowly through Bavaria.]

[Footnote 6: "None of my soldiers accompany me. You will know how to
value this mark of confidence."--_Napoleon's Address to the Bavarians.
Boelderndorf's Bavarian Campaigns_. "I am alone among you and have not
a Frenchman around my person. This is an unparalleled honor paid by me
to you."--_Napoleon's Address to the Wuertemberg troops_. Arndt wrote
at that time:

"By idle words and dastard wiles
Hath he the mastery gained;
He holds our sacred fatherland
In slavery enchained.
Fear hath rendered truth discreet,
And Honor croucheth at his feet.

Is this his work? ah no! 'tis _thine!_
This _thou_ alone hast done.
For him thy banner waved, for him
Thy sword the battle won

By thy disputes he gaineth strength,
By thy disgrace full honor,
And 'neath the German hero's arm
His weakness doth he cover:
Glittering erewhile in borrowed show,
The Gallic cock doth proudly crow."]

[Footnote 7: The states of Wuertemberg imparted, among other things,
the following piece of information to the house of Habsburg: "That the
heads of a democratical government should spread principles
destructive to order among its neighbors was easily explicable, but
that Austria should take advantage of the war to derange the internal
mechanism of neighboring states was inexcusable."--_Allgemeine
Zeitung, No. 113_. The Bavarian proclamation (_Allgemeine Zeitung, No.
135_) says, "Princes of the blood royal unblushingly subscribed to
proclamations placing them on an equality with the men of the
Revolution of 1793." The _Moniteur_, Napoleon's Parisian organ, said
in August, 1809, after the conclusion of the war, "The mighty hand of
Napoleon has snatched Germany from the revolutionary abyss about to
engulf her."]

[Footnote 8: Posselt's Political Annals at that time contained an
essay, in which the attempt made by the Austrian cabinet to call the
Germans to arms was designated as a "crime" against the sovereigns
"among whom Germany was at that period partitioned, and in whose
hearing it was both foolish and dangerous to speak of Germany."
Derision has seldom been carried to such a pitch.]

[Footnote 9: The finest feat of arms was that performed by the
Austrian infantry, who repulsed twelve French regiments of
cuirassiers. This picked body of cavalry was mounted on the best and
strongest horses of Holstein and Mecklenburg (for Napoleon overcame
Germany principally by means of Germany), and bore an extremely
imposing appearance. The Austrian infantry coolly stood their charge
and allowed them to come close upon them before firing a shot, when,
taking deliberate aim at the horses, they and their riders were rolled
in confused heaps on the ground. Three thousand cuirasses were picked
up by the victors after the battle.]

[Footnote 10: Napoleon proclaimed independence to the Hungarians, but
was unable to gain a single adherent among them.]

[Footnote 11: Aretin about this time published a "Representation of
the Patriots of Austria to Napoleon the Great," in which that great
sovereign was entreated to bestow a new government upon Austria and to
make that country, like the new kingdom of Westphalia, a member of his
family of states. A fitting pendant to John Mueller's state speech, and
so much the more uncalled-for as it was exactly the Austrians who,
during this disastrous period, had, less than any of the other races
of Germany, lost their national pride.]

[Footnote 12: They were afterward condemned to hard labor in the
Hieres Isles, nor was it until 1814 that the survivors, one hundred
and twenty in number, were restored to their homes.--_Allgemeine
Zeitung, 1814. Appendix 91._]

[Footnote 13: Vide Napier's Peninsular War for an account of the
military achievements of the Spaniards.--_Trans._]

CCLVII. Revolt of the Tyrolese

The Alps of the Tyrol had for centuries been the asylum of liberty.
The ancient German communal system had there continued to exist even
in feudal times. Exactly at the time when the house of Habsburg lost
its most valuable possessions in Switzerland, at the time of the
council of Constance, Duke Frederick, surnamed Friedel with the empty
purse, was compelled by necessity and for the sake of retaining the
affection of the Tyrolese, to confirm them by oath in the possession
of great privileges, which his successors, owing to a wholesome dread
of exciting the anger of the sturdy mountaineers, prudently refrained
from violating. The Tyrol was externally independent and was governed
by her own diet. No recruits were levied in that country by the
emperor, excepting those for the rifle corps, which elected its own
commanders and wore the Tyrolean garb. The imposts were few and
trifling in amount, the administration was simple. The free-born
peasant enjoyed his rights in common with the patriarchal nobility and
clergy, who dwelt in harmony with the people; in several of the
valleys the public affairs were administered by simple peasants; each
commune had its peculiar laws and customs.

The first invasion of the Tyrol, in 1703, by the Bavarians, was
successfully resisted. The Bavarians were driven, with great loss on
their side, out of the country. A somewhat similar spirit animated the
Tyrolese in 1805, and their anger was solely appeased by the express
remonstrances of the Archduke John, whom the inhabitants of the
Austrian Tyrol treated with the veneration due to a father. They now
fell under the dominion of Bavaria, whose benevolent sovereign,
Maximilian Joseph, promised, under the act dated the 14th of January,
1806, "not only strongly to uphold the constitution of the country and
the well-earned rights and privileges of the people, but also to
promote their welfare": but, led astray by his, certainly noble,
enthusiasm for the rescue of his Bavarian subjects from Jesuit
obscurantism, he imagined that similar measures might also be
advantageously taken in the Tyrol, where the mountaineers, true to
their ancient simplicity, were revolted by the severity of the cure,
attempted too by a physician of whose intentions they were
mistrustful. Bavaria was overrun with rich monasteries; the Tyrol,
less fertile, possessed merely a patriarchal clergy, less numerous,
more moral and active. There was no motive for interference. The
conscription that, by converting the idle youth of Bavaria into
disciplined soldiery, was a blessing to the martial-spirited and
improvident population, was impracticable amid the well-trained
Tyrolese, and, although the control exercised by a well-regulated
bureaucracy might be beneficial when viewed in contradistinction with
the ancient complicated system of government and administration of
justice during the existence of the division into petty states and the
manifold contradictory privileges, it was utterly uncalled for in the
simple administration of the Tyrol. For what purpose were mere
presumptive ameliorations to be imposed upon a people thoroughly
contented with the laws and customs bequeathed by their ancestors? The
attempt was nevertheless made, and ancient Bavarian official insolence
leagued with French frivolity of the school of Montgelas to vex the
Tyrolese and to violate their most sacred privileges. The numerous
chapels erected for devotional purposes were thrown down amid marks of
ridicule and scorn; the ignorance and superstition of the old church
was at one blow to yield to modern enlightenment.[1] The people
shudderingly beheld the crucifixes and images of saints, so long the
objects of their deepest veneration, sold to Jews. Notwithstanding the
late assurances of the Bavarian king, the Tyrolean diet was, moreover,
not only dissolved, but the country was deprived of its ancient name
and designated "Southern Bavaria," and the castle of the Tyrol, that
had defied the storms of ages, and whose possessor, according to a
sacred popular legend, had alone a right to claim the homage of the
country, was sold by auction. The national pride of the Tyrolese was
deeply and bitterly wounded, their ancient rights and customs were
arbitrarily infringed, and, instead of the great benefits so recently
promised, eight new taxes were levied, and the tax-gatherers not
infrequently rendered themselves still more obnoxious by their
brutality. Colonel Dittfurt, who, during the winter of 1809, acted
with extreme inhumanity in the Fleimserthal, where the conscription
had excited great opposition, and who publicly boasted that with his
regiment alone he would keep the whole of the beggarly mountaineers in
subjection, drew upon himself the greatest share of the popular

Austria, when preparing for war in 1809, could therefore confidently
reckon upon a general rising in the Tyrol. Andrew Hofer, the host of
the Sand at Passeyr (the Sandwirth), went to Vienna, where the revolt
was concerted.[2] A conspiracy was entered into by the whole of the
Tyrolese peasantry. Sixty thousand men, on a moderate calculation,
were intrusted with the secret, which was sacredly kept, not a single
townsman being allowed to participate in it. Kinkel, the Bavarian
general, who was stationed at Innsbruck and narrowly watched the
Tyrol, remained perfectly unconscious of the mine beneath his feet.
Colonel Wrede, his inferior in command, had been directed to blow up
the important bridges in the Pusterthal at St. Lorenzo, in order to
check the advance of the Austrians, in case of an invasion. Several
thousand French were expected to pass through the Tyrol on their route
from Italy to join the army under Napoleon. No suspicion of the
approach of a popular outbreak existed. On the 9th of April, the
signal was suddenly given; planks bearing little red flags floated
down the Inn; on the 10th, the storm burst. Several of the Bavarian
sappers sent at daybreak to blow up the bridges of St. Lorenzo being
killed by the bullets of an invisible foe, the rest took to flight.
Wrede, enraged at the incident, hastened to the spot at the head of
two battalions, supported by a body of cavalry and some field-pieces.
The whole of the Pusterthal had, however, already risen at the summons
of Peter Kemnater, the host of Schabs,[3] in defence of the bridges.
Wrede's artillery was captured by the enraged peasantry and cast,
together with the artillerymen, into the river. Wrede, after suffering
a terrible loss, owing to the skill of the Tyrolean riflemen, who
never missed their aim, was completely put to rout, and, although he
fell in with a body of three thousand French under Brisson on their
route from Italy, resolved, instead of returning to the Pusterthal, to
withdraw with the French to Innsbruck. The passage through the valley
of the Eisack had, however, been already closed against them by the
host of Lechner, and the fine old Roman bridge at Laditsch been blown
up. In the pass of the Brixen, where the valley closes, the French and
Bavarians suffered immense loss; rocks and trees were rolled on the
heads of the appalled soldiery, numbers of whom were also picked off
by the unerring rifles of the unseen peasantry. Favored by the open
ground at the bridge of Laditsch, they constructed a temporary bridge,
across which they succeeded in forcing their way on the 11th of April.
Hofer had, meanwhile, placed himself, early on the 10th, at the head
of the brave peasantry of Passeyr, Algund, and Meran, and had thrown
himself on the same road, somewhat to the north, near Sterzing, where
a Bavarian battalion was stationed under the command of Colonel
Baernklau, who, on being attacked by him, on the 11th, retreated to the
Sterzinger Moos, a piece of tableland, where, drawn up in square, he
successfully repulsed every attempt made to dislodge him until Hofer
ordered a wagon, loaded with hay and guided by a girl,[4] to be pushed
forward as a screen, behind which the Tyrolese advancing, the square
was speedily broken and the whole of Baernklau's troop was either
killed or taken prisoner.

The whole of the lower valley of the Inn had, on the self-same day,
been raised by Joseph Speckbacher, a wealthy peasant of Rinn, the
greatest hero called into existence by this fearful peasant war. The
alarm-bell pealed from every church tower throughout the country. A
Bavarian troop, at that time engaged in levying contributions at Axoms
as a punishment for disobedience, hastily fled. The city of Hall was,
on the ensuing night, taken by Speckbacher, who, after lighting about
a hundred watch-fires in a certain quarter, as if about to make an
attack on that side, crept, under cover of the darkness, to the gate
on the opposite side, where, as a common passenger, he demanded
permission to enter, took possession of the opened gate, and seized
the four hundred Bavarians stationed in the city. On the 12th, he
appeared before Innsbruck. Kinkel was astounded at the audacity of the
peasants, whom Dittfurt glowed with impatience to punish. But the
people, shouting "Vivat Franzl! Down with the Bavarians!" again rushed
upon the guns and turned them upon the Bavarians, who were, moreover,
exposed to a murderous fire poured upon them from the windows and
towers by the citizens, who had risen in favor of the peasantry. The
people of the upper valley of the Inn, headed by Major Teimer, also
poured to the scene of carnage. Dittfurt performed prodigies of valor,
but every effort was vain. Scornfully refusing to yield to the
_canaille_, he continued, although struck by two bullets, to fight
with undaunted courage, when a third stretched him on the ground;
again he started up and furiously defended himself until a fourth
struck him in the head. He died four days afterward in a state of wild
delirium, cursing and swearing. Kinkel and the whole of the Bavarian
infantry yielded themselves prisoners. The cavalry attempted to
escape, but were dismounted with pitchforks by the peasantry, and the
remainder were taken prisoners before Hall.

Wrede and Brisson, meanwhile, crossed the Brenner. At Sterzing, every
trace of the recent conflict had been carefully obliterated, and Wrede
vainly inquired the fate of Baernklau. He entered the narrow pass, and
Hofer's riflemen spread death and confusion among his ranks. The
strength of the allied column, nevertheless, enabled it to force its
way through, and it reached Innsbruck, where, completely surrounded by
the Tyrolese, it, in a few minutes, lost several hundred men, and, in
order to escape utter destruction, laid down its arms. The Tyrolese
entered Innsbruck in triumph, preceded by the military band belonging
to the enemy, which was compelled to play, followed by Teimer and
Brisson in an open carriage, and with the rest of their prisoners
guarded between their ranks. Their captives consisted of two generals,
ten staff-officers, above a hundred other officers, eight thousand
infantry, and a thousand cavalry. Throughout the Tyrol, the arms of
Bavaria were cast to the ground and all the Bavarian authorities were
removed from office. The prisoners were, nevertheless, treated with
the greatest humanity, the only instance to the contrary being that of
a tax-gatherer, who, having once boasted that he would grind the
Tyrolese down until they gladly ate hay, was, in revenge, compelled to
swallow a bushel of hay for his dinner.

It was not until after these brilliant achievements on the part of the
Tyrolese that Lieutenant Field-Marshal von Chasteler, a Dutchman, and
the Baron von Hormayr, the imperial civil intendant, entered Innsbruck
with several thousand Austrians, and that Hormayr assumed the reins of
government. Two thousand French, under General Lemoine, attempted to
make an inroad from Trent, but were repulsed by Hofer and his ally,
Colonel Count Leiningen, who had been sent to his aid by Chasteler.
The advance of a still stronger force of the enemy under Baraguay
d'Hilliers a second time against Botzen called Chasteler in person
into the field, and the French, after a smart engagement near Volano,
where the Herculean Passeyrers carried the artillery on their
shoulders, were forced to retreat. It was on this occasion that
Leiningen, who had hastily pushed too far forward, was rescued from
captivity by Hofer.[5] The Vorarlberg had, meanwhile, also been raised
by Teimer. A Dr. Schneider placed himself at the head of the
insurgents, whose forces already extended in this direction as far as
Lindau, Kempten, and Memmingen.

Napoleon's success, at this conjuncture, at Ratisbon, enabled him to
despatch a division of his army into the Tyrol to quell the
insurrection that had broken out to his rear. Wrede, who had been
quickly exchanged and set at liberty, speedily found himself at the
head of a small Bavarian force, and succeeded in driving the Austrians
under Jellachich, after an obstinate and bloody resistance, out of
Salzburg, on the 29th of April. Jellachich withdrew to the pass of
Lueg for the purpose of placing himself in communication with the
Archduke John, who was on his way from Italy. An attack made upon this
position by the Bavarians being repulsed, Napoleon despatched Marshal
Lefebvre, duke of Dantzig, from Salzburg with a considerable force to
their assistance. Lefebvre spoke German, was a rough soldier, treated
the peasants as robbers instead of legitimate foes, shot every leader
who fell into his hands, and gave his soldiery license to commit every
description of outrage on the villagers. The greater part of the
Tyrolese occupying the pass of Strub having quitted their post on
Ascension Day in order to attend divine service, the rest were, after
a gallant resistance, overpowered and mercilessly butchered.
Chasteler, anxious to repair his late negligence, advanced against the
Bavarians in the open valley of the Inn and was overwhelmed by
superior numbers at Woergl. Speckbacher, followed by his peasantry,
again made head against the enemy, whom, notwithstanding the
destruction caused in his ranks by their rapid and well-directed fire,
he twice drove out of Schwatz. The Bavarians, nevertheless, succeeded
in forcing an entrance into the town, which they set on fire after
butchering all the inhabitants, hundreds of whom were hanged to the
trees or had their hands nailed to their heads. These cruelties were
not, even in a single instance, imitated by the Tyrolese. The proposal
to send their numerous Bavarian prisoners home maimed of one ear, as a
mode of recognition in case they should again serve against the Tyrol,
was rejected by Hofer. The unrelenting rage of the Bavarians was
solely roused by the unsparing ridicule of the Tyrolese, by whom they
were nicknamed, on account of the general burliness of their figures
and their fondness for beer, Bavarian hogs, and who, the moment they
came within hearing, would call out to them, as to a herd of pigs,
"Tschu, Tschu, Tschu--Natsch, Natsch." The Bavarians, intoxicated with
success, advanced further up the country, surrounded the village of
Vomp, set it on fire amid the sound of kettledrums and hautboys, and
shot the inhabitants as they attempted to escape from the burning
houses. Chasteler and Hormayr were, during this robber-campaign, as it
was termed by the French, proscribed as _chefs de brigands_ by
Napoleon. Count Tannenberg, the descendant of the oldest of the
baronial families in the Tyrol, a blind and venerable man, who was
also taken prisoner _en route_, replied with dignity to the censure
heaped upon him by Wrede, and at Munich defended his country's cause
before the king.[6] The officers, whom he had treated with extreme
politeness, rose from his hospitable board to set fire to his castle
over his head. The Scharnitz was yielded, and the Bavarians under Arco
penetrated also on that side into the country.--Jellachich, upon this,
retired upon Carinthia, and was followed through the Pusterthal by
Chasteler, who dreaded being cut off. The peasants, incredulous of
their abandonment by Austria, implored, entreated him to remain, to
which, for the sake of freeing himself from their importunities, he at
length consented, but they had no sooner dispersed in order to summon
the people again to the conflict than he retired. Hofer, on returning
to the spot, merely finding a small body of troops under the command
of General Buol, who had received orders to bring up the rear, threw
himself in despair on a bed. Eisenstecken, his companion and adjutant,
however, instantly declared that the departure of the soldiers must,
at all hazards, be prevented. The officers signed a paper by which
they bound themselves, even though contrary to the express orders of
the general, to remain. Buol, upon this, yielded and remained, but,
during the fearful battle that ensued, remained in the post-house on
the Brenner, inactively watching the conflict, which terminated in the
triumph of the peasantry. Hormayr completely absconded and attempted
to escape into Switzerland.

Innsbruck was surrendered by Teimer to the French, on the 19th of May.
Napoleon's defeat, about this time, at Aspern having however compelled
Lefebvre to return hastily to the Danube, leaving merely a part of the
Bavarians with General Deroy in Innsbruck, the Tyrolese instantly
seized the opportunity, and Hofer, Eisenstecken, and the gallant
Speckbacher boldly assembled the whole of the peasantry on the
mountain of Isel. Peter Thalguter led the brave and gigantic men of
Algund. Haspinger, the Capuchin, nicknamed Redbeard, appeared on this
occasion for the first time in the guise of a commander and displayed
considerable military talent. An incessant struggle was carried on
from the 25th to the 29th of May.[7] Deroy, repulsed from the mountain
of Isel with a loss of almost three thousand men, simulated an
intention to capitulate, and withdrew unheard during the night by
muffling the horses' hoofs and the wheels of the artillery carriages
and enjoining silence under pain of death. Speckbacher attempted to
impede his retreat at Hall, but arrived too late.[8] Teimer was
accused of having been remiss in his duty through jealousy of the
common peasant leaders. Arco escaped by an artifice similar to that of
Deroy and abandoned the Scharnitz. The Vorarlbergers again spread as
far as Kempten. Hormayr also returned, retook the reins of government,
imposed taxes, flooded the country with useless law-scribbling, and,
at the same time, refused to grant the popular demand for the
convocation of the Tyrolean diet. After the victory of Aspern, the
emperor declared, "My faithful county of Tyrol shall henceforward ever
remain incorporated with the Austrian empire, and I will agree to no
treaty of peace save one indissolubly uniting the Tyrol with my
monarchy." During this happy interval, Speckbacher besieged the
fortress of Cuffstein, where he performed many signal acts of

The disaster of Wagram followed, and, in the ensuing armistice, the
Emperor Francis was compelled to agree to the withdrawal of the whole
of his troops from the Tyrol. The Archduke John is said to have given
a hint to General Buol to remain in the Tyrol as if retained there by
force by the peasantry, instead of which both Buol and Hormayr hurried
their retreat, after issuing a miserable proclamation, in which they
"recommended the Tyrolese to the care of the duke of Dantzig."
Lefebvre actually again advanced at the head of thirty to forty
thousand French, Bavarians and Saxons. The courage of the unfortunate
peasantry naturally sank. Hofer alone remained unshaken, and said, on
bidding Hormayr farewell, "Well, then, I will undertake the
government, and, as long as God wills, name myself Andrew Hofer, host
of the Sand at Passeyr, Count of the Tyrol." Hormayr laughed.--A
general dispersion took place. Hofer alone remained. When, resolute in
his determination not to abandon his native soil, he was on his way
back to his dwelling, he encountered Speckbacher hurrying away in a
carriage in the company of some Austrian officers. "Wilt thou also
desert thy country?" was Hofer's sad demand. Buol, in order to cover
his retreat, sent back eleven guns and nine hundred Bavarian prisoners
to General Rusca, who continued to threaten the Pusterthal.

In the mountains all was tranquil, and the advance of the French
columns was totally unopposed. Hofer, concealed in a cavern amid the
steep rocks overhanging his native vale, besought Heaven for aid, and,
by his enthusiastic entreaties, succeeded in persuading the brave
Capuchin, Joachim Haspinger, once more to quit the monastery of
Seeben, whither he had retired. A conference was held at Brixen
between Haspinger, Martin Schenk, the host of the _Krug_, a jovial man
of powerful frame, Kemnater, and a third person of similar calling,
Peter Mayer, host of the Mare, who bound themselves again to take up
arms in the Eastern Tyrol, while Hofer, in person, raised the Western
Tyrol. Speckbacher, to the delight of the three confederates,
unexpectedly made his appearance at this conjuncture. Deeply wounded
by the reproach contained in the few words addressed to him by Hofer,
he had, notwithstanding the urgent entreaties of his companions,
quitted them on arriving at the nearest station and hastened to retake
his post in defence of his country.

Lefebvre had already entered Innsbruck, and, according to his brutal
custom, had plundered the villages and reduced them to ashes; he had
also published a proscription-list[10] instead of the amnesty. A
desperate resistance now commenced. The whole of the Tyrol again flew
to arms; the young men placed in their green hats the bunch of
rosemary gathered by the girl of their heart, the more aged a
peacock's plume, the symbol of the house of Habsburg, all carried the
rifle, so murderous in their hands; they made cannons of larch-wood,
bound with iron rings, which did good service; they raised abatis,
blew up rooks, piled immense masses of stone on the extreme edges of
the precipitous rocks commanding the narrow vales, in order to hurl
them upon the advancing foe, and directed the timber-slides in the
forest-grown mountains, or those formed of logs by means of which the
timber for building was usually run into the valleys, in such a manner
upon the most important passes and bridges, as to enable them to shoot
enormous trees down upon them with tremendous velocity.

Lefebvre resolved to advance with the main body of his forces across
the Brenner to Botzen, whither another corps under Burscheidt also
directed its way through the upper valley of the Inn, the Finstermunz,
and Meran, while a third under Rusca came from Carinthia through the
Pusterthal, and a fourth under Peyry was on the march from Verona
through the vale of the Adige. These various _corps d'armee_, by which
the Tyrol was thus attacked simultaneously on every point, were to
concentrate in the heart of the country. Lefebvre found the Brenner
open. The Tyrolese, headed by Haspinger, had burned the bridges on the
Oberau and awaited the approach of the enemy on the heights commanding
the narrow valley of Eisach. The Saxons under Rouyer were sent in
advance by Lefebvre to shed their blood for a foreign despot. Rocks
and trees hurled by the Tyrolese into the valley crushed numbers of
them to death. Rouyer, after being slightly hurt by a rolling mass of
rock, retreated after leaving orders to the Saxon regiment, composed
of contingents from Weimar, Gotha, Coburg, Hildburghausen, Altenburg,
and Meiningen, commanded by Colonel Egloffstein, to retain its
position in the Oberau. This action took place on the 4th of August.
The Saxons, worn out by the fatigue and danger to which they were
exposed, were compelled, on the ensuing day, to make head in the
narrow vale against overwhelming numbers of the Tyrolese, whose
incessant attacks rendered a moment's repose impossible. Although
faint with hunger and with the intensity of the heat, a part of the
troops under Colonel Egloffstein succeeded in forcing their way
through, though at an immense sacrifice of life,[11] and fell back
upon Rouyer, who had taken up a position at Sterzing without fighting
a stroke in their aid, and who expressed his astonishment at their
escape. The rest of the Saxon troops were taken prisoners, after a
desperate resistance, in the dwelling-houses of Oberau.[12] They had
lost nearly a thousand men. The other _corps d'armee_ met with no
better fate. Burscheidt merely advanced up the valley of the Inn as
far as the bridges of Pruz, whence, being repulsed by the Tyrolese and
dreading destruction, he retreated during the dark night of the 8th of
August. His infantry crept, silent and unheard, across the bridge of
Pontlaz, of such fatal celebrity in 1703, which was strictly watched
by the Tyrolese. The cavalry cautiously followed, but were betrayed by
the sound of one of the horses' feet. Rocks and trees were in an
instant hurled upon the bridge, crushing men and horses and blocking
up the way. The darkness that veiled the scene but added to its
horrors. The whole of the troops shut up beyond the bridge were either
killed or taken prisoner. Burscheidt reached Innsbruck with merely a
handful of men, completely worn out by the incessant pursuit. Rusca
was also repulsed, between the 6th and the 11th of August
(particularly at the bridge of Lienz), in the Pusterthal, by brave
Antony Steger. Rusca had set two hundred farms on fire. Twelve hundred
of his men were killed, and his retreat was accelerated by Steger's
threat to roast him, in case he fell into his hands, like a scorpion,
within a fiery circle. Peyry did not venture into the country.

Lefebvre, who had followed to the rear of the Saxon troops from
Innsbruck, bitterly reproached them with their defeat, but, although
he placed himself in advance, did not succeed in penetrating as far as
they had up the country. At Mauls, his cavalry were torn from their
saddles and killed with clubs, and he escaped, with great difficulty,
after losing his cocked hat. His corps, notwithstanding its numerical
strength, was unable to advance a step further. The Capuchin harassed
his advanced guard from Mauls and was seconded by Speckbacher from
Stilfs, while Count Arco was attacked to his rear at Schonberg by
multitudes of Tyrolese. The contest was carried on without
intermission from the 5th to the 10th of August. Lefebvre was finally
compelled to retreat with his thinned and weary troops.[13] On the
11th, Deroy posted himself with the rearguard on the mountain of Isel.
The Capuchin, after reading mass under the open sky to his followers,
again attacked him on the 13th. A horrible slaughter ensued. Four
hundred Bavarians, who had fallen beneath the clubs of their
infuriated antagonists, lay in a confused heap. The enemy evacuated
Innsbruck and the whole of the Tyrol.[14] Count Arco was one of the
last victims of this bloody campaign.

The _Sandwirth_, placed himself at the head of the government at
Innsbruck. Although a simple peasant and ever faithful to the habits
of his station,[15] he laid down some admirable rules, convoked a
national assembly, and raised the confidence of the people of
Carinthia, to whom he addressed a proclamation remarkable for dignity.
He hoped, at that time, by summoning the whole of the mountain tribes
to arms and leading them to Vienna, to compel the enemy to accede to
more favorable terms of peace. Speckbacher penetrated into the
district of Salzburg, defeated the Bavarians at Lofers and Unken, took
one thousand seven hundred prisoners, and advanced as far as
Reichenhall and Melek. The Capuchin proposed, in his zeal, to storm
Salzburg and invade Carinthia, but was withheld by Speckbacher, who
saw the hazard attached to the project, as well as the peril that
would attend the departure of the Tyrolese from their country. His
plan merely consisted in covering the eastern frontier. His son,
Anderle, who had escaped from his secluded Alp, unexpectedly joined
him and fought at his side. Speckbacher was stationed at Melek, where
he drove Major Rummele with his Bavarian battalion into the Salzach,
but was shortly afterward surprised by treachery. He had already been
deprived of his arms, thrown to the ground, and seriously injured with
blows dealt with a club, when, furiously springing to his feet, he
struck his opponents to the earth and escaped with a hundred of his
men across a wall of rock unscalable save by the foot of the expert
and hardy mountaineer. His young son was torn from his side and taken
captive. The king, Maximilian Joseph, touched by his courage and
beauty, sent for him and had him well educated.--The Capuchin, who had
reached Muhrau in Styria, was also compelled to retire.

The peace of Vienna, in which the Tyrolese were not even mentioned,
was meanwhile concluded. The restoration of the Tyrol to Bavaria was
tacitly understood, and, in order to reduce the country to obedience,
three fresh armies again approached the frontiers, the Italian, Peyry,
from the south through the valley of the Adige, and Baraguay
d'Hilliers from the west through the Pusterthal; the former suffered a
disastrous defeat above Trent, but was rescued from utter destruction
by General Vial, who had followed to his rear, and who, as well as
Baraguay, advanced as far as Brixen.[16] Drouet d'Erlon, with the main
body of the Bavarians, came from the north across the Strub and the
Loferpass, and gained forcible possession of the Engpass. Hofer had
been persuaded by the priest, Donay, to relinquish the anterior passes
into the country and Innsbruck, and to take up a strong position on
the fortified mountain of Isel. Speckbacher arrived too late to defend
Innsbruck, and, enraged at the ill-laid plan of defence, threw a body
of his men into the Zillerthal in order to prevent the Bavarians from
falling upon Hofer's rear. He was again twice wounded at the storming
of the Kemmberg, which had already been fortified by the Bavarians. On
the 25th of October, the Bavarians entered Innsbruck and summoned
Hofer to capitulate. During the night of the 30th, Baron Lichtenthurm
appeared in the Tyrolese camp, announced the conclusion of peace, and
delivered a letter from the Archduke John, in which the Tyrolese were
commanded peaceably to disperse and no longer to offer their lives a
useless sacrifice. There was no warrant for the future, not a memory
of an earlier pledge. The commands of their beloved master were obeyed
by the Tyrolese with feelings of bitter regret, and a complete
dispersion took place. Speckbacher alone maintained his ground, and
repulsed the enemy on the 2d and 3d of November, but, being told, in a
letter, by Hofer, "I announce to you that Austria has made peace with
France and has forgotten the Tyrol," he gave up all further
opposition, and Mayer and Kemnater, who had gallantly made head
against General Rusca at the Muhlbacher Klause, followed his example.

The tragedy drew to a close. Hofer returned to his native vale, where


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