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The ​hero of our romantic narrative, or better, narratives, was a constable. Not one of that useful class appointed, in our day, to direct the vehicles which pass over the two approaches to the suspension-bridge in Budapest; rather, he was the chief of a body whose task it is to provoke disturbance, who win all the more praise and glory the greater the havoc and destruction they create. In a word: he was a gunner.

The chronicle of his exploits gives only his Christian name, which was “Hugo.” In the year 1688, when the French beleaguered Coblentz, Hugo had charge of the battery in the outermost tower of Ehrenbreitstein fortress—the “Montalembert Tower.” Coblentz and Ehrenbreitstein are opposite one another on the banks of the Rhine, as are Pesth and Ofen; and the Blocksberg looks down on us, as does the citadel of Ehrenbreitstein on Coblentz. The city, which is strongly fortified on all sides, had become accustomed to being beleaguered—now by the French, now by the Prussians; today by the Austrians, tomorrow by the Swedes. On the occasion of which I write, Coblentz was under a terrible fire from the French guns, which created great havoc in that portion of the city known as the “Old Town.”

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