Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Tyrolean Innkeeper

'...But not all the courage of the Tyrolese, not all the strength of their country, could possibly enable them to defend themselves, when the peace with Austria had permitted Bonaparte to engage his whole immense means for the acquisition of these mountains. Austria too— Austria herself, in whose cause they had incurred all the dangers of war, instead of securing their indemnity by some stipulations in the treaty, sent them a cold exhortation to lay down their arms. Resistance, therefore, was abandoned as fruitless; Hofer, chief commander of the Tyrolese, resigned his command, and the Bavarians regained the possession of a country which they could never have won back by their own efforts. Hofer, and about thirty chiefs of these valiant defenders of their country, were put to death, in poor revenge for the loss their bravery had occasioned. But their fame, as their immortal spirit, was beyond the power of the judge alike and executioner; and the place where their blood was shed, becomes sacred to the thoughts of freedom, as the precincts of a temple to those of religion...'

Andreas Hofer led a force of Tyroleans in a rebellion against Napoleon in 1809.  Sir Walter Scott provides the results in his "Life of Napoleon".  Hofer's execution took place on February 20, 1810.

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