This War is a scourge on Mankind; I see, with a broken heart, how it threatens to strike against the lives and possessions of thousands of my loyal subjects; I feel deeply this very moment the severe trial which this war is for my Empire, which is progressing on the path of ordered internal development, and for this requires perpetuity of peace. But the heart of the monarch must remain silent, where only honor and duty have command. Dire times have already come and passed over this Crown, which I inherited unblemished from my ancestors; the Glorious History of Our Fatherland gives witness that, when the shadows of Revolution which threaten the Highest treasures of Mankind, threatens to spread over the whole World, Divine Providence often used its servant the Sword of Austria to disperse the shadows with its lightning. We stand again on the eve of such a time, when the Revolution against all of existence is no longer merely proclaimed by sects but sent into the world by the very Thrones of power.
When I am forced to grasp the sword, it so receives this ordination, to be a guard for the Honor and Good Law of Austria, for rights of all peoples and states, for the holiest treasures of Mankind.
However, to you my peoples, who through your loyalty to your ancestral Noble House are an exemplar to all the peoples of the Earth, I send forth my call: stand to fight by my side in this turmoil with enduring loyalty, devotion, and willingness to sacrifice; your Sons, whom I have called into the ranks of my army, I your warlord, salute with my blade; You may look with pride upon them, in their hands the Eagle of Austria will be borne forth in high honor.
With God for the Fatherland!
-Emperor Franz Josef I, Excerpted from The Imperial Manifesto on the Austro-Sardinian War