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Rev. Mr. Gleig's account of his visit to Hun- , ment, into his manner of exercising which no hugary in 1837, an impartial and unpretending man being ever took the trouble to inquire. Accordwork, contains several graphic sketches of ingly, you still find, as an appendage to each manHungarian manners, so life-like, that one
sion, a prison with its bolts and chains and other regrets that pen so competent for the task ly applied to the backs of delinquents, real or
implements of torture ; while the rod was as free. had not entered more fully into the subject. imaginary, as ever the whip made acquaintance Mr. Gleig's tour was limited to an excur- with the persons of our own negroes in a West sion in the Carpathian district of the north Indian sugar-field.” western corner; to a brief sojourn in the ancient and modern capitals; to a voyage down
In his descriptions of the domestic arthe Danube to Semlin; and to a rapid ride rangements of a Hungarian country gentlethence along the military frontier, through man, which Mr. Gleig aptly compares to Sclavonia and Croatia to Hungary's sole sea- those of the Highland laird of half a century port, Fiume. But as he journeyed as a
ago, there are some traits worthy of note. pedestrian in the north, with keen and in- The eidelman, or “squire,” was surrounded telligent observation, he had many opportu- by an endless number of retainers, who each, nities of obtaining information; and his pic- according to his ability, contributed country tures are acknowledged to be faithful. One produce, not as good-will offerings, but as or two extracts from his work will convey the feudal perquisites which the chief
claimed: the people down to the radical changes in « The precise amount, either of labor or of trithe Hungarian constitution made by the bute, which the land-owner might exact from his Diet in 1847–48.
serfs or peasants, was never fixed by any pretext,
either of law or custom, till 1764. It was then “The people, properly so called,” says Mr. that Maria Theresa published her Urbarium, a Gleig, writing in 1838, “ the peasants who culti- mere royal proclamation, to which the Diet never vate the soil, the mechanics who construct the gave its sanction, but which, being adopted as a dwellings, the artisans who fabricate the house- standard of justice, has ever since obtained unihold utensils, the wearing apparel, the carriages, versal observance. Accordingly, a full farm is the ships, the machinery, these are precisely in now estimated to contain twenty-five acres of arathe condition of Gurth and Wamba, in Sir Wal- ble land, and of grass as much as a man shall be ter Scott's romance of Ivanhoe. In the rural dis- able to mow in twelve days. For this the tenant tricts, every man whom you meet, provided he be pays annually a ninth of his whole produce, as neither a noble nor a soldier, belongs to some- well as of all lambs, kids, and bees, which he may body.* He has no rights of his own. He is a rear upon his farm, two chickens, two capons, portion of another man's chattels; he is bought twelve eggs, and half a pound of butter. More and sold with the land, as if he were a horse or over, he is bound to furnish to his landlord during an ox. On him, too, all the common burdens of the year an hundred and eleven days' labor with the State are thrown. If the parliament vote an a pair of hands, as well as one day's service in increase of the taxes, it is from the peasants that every week with a wagon and four horses. Then these taxes are wrung; for the lord takes care, again, when the proprietor marries, or a child is though he himself pay immediately, that he shall born to him, or his son takes a wife, or a new inbe indemnified by the deduction which he makes cumbent is inducted, a donation of poultry, or corn, from his serf 's allowances.t. It is the same or some other species of produce becomes due; spirit which provides that the peasantry who while, to sum up all, the peasant's whole property, make the roads, and, by the labor of their hands, should he die without natural heirs, is immediately keep them in repair, shall be the only class of seized upon by his landlord. On the other hand, persons of whom toll is anywhere exacted. An a peasant once put in possession of a farm, beeidelman in his chariot passes free through every comes almost as much a fixture there as if the barrier; a poor peasant's wagon is stopped at each, land were his own freehold. If he leave sons betill the full amount of mout, as it is called, has hind him, they succeed to the occupancy, of course been settled. But this is not all. Till the year sharing it among them till it is split into mere 1835, each landed proprietor possessed over his shreds, and uniting their means to make good the peasantry an almost unlimited power of punish- tribute that is due, and without a faithful discharge
of which they are liable to punishment. All the * In the astricted sense mentioned in the text. + There was one exemption to the general exception farmers. There are multitudes who inhabit cot
serfs on a land-owner's property are not, however, of the nobility from taxation, and it marked, in an odd way, the connection of the Church with the State tages only, and who find a subsistence, as well as in Hungary. The church militant, or rather the they can, from their gardens and their labor. prelates, as the possessors of the sees, were taxed to Each of these pays to the land-owner one florin, or support the principal fortresses of the kingdom. two shillings yearly, as the rent of his cottage, Imagine Harry of Exeter being compelled to pay and eighteen days labor in the fields. During annually a tenth his episcopal revenue for the the rem three hundred and forty-seven days repair of the Tower!
he is paid for his exertions. But though every
land-owner in Hungary is likewise a farmer on a nism to Austria, and to the incessant attempts large scale, it rarely happens that, in the dull sea of that house to subdue the nation; for son of the year, very many of these poor creatures Magyar and Sclave forgot their antipathies do not find it a hard matter to earn the scantiest of race in the necessity for union against the subsistence; for all the rights of hunting, shooting, and fishing belong strictly to the lords of the soil; common enemy of both. nay, the woods themselves being theirs, except
Of the social and territorial position of the where townships may have obtained them, the Hungarian aristocracy, it may be interesting very acorns are reserved exclusively for feeding to say a word or two. We have no data on the swine of the great proprietors."
which to determine the proprietary division
of the soil; but it was, up to 1847, very The forstban is another privilege enjoyed much smaller than the electoral constituency. by all nobles and government functionaries, Some of the nobility possess enormous territhat is, of impressing the horses of the peas- tory, and plain country gentlemen are the antry in travelling. They are paid, it is true; owners of whole komitats. In as far as an but the system is most vexatious during the abundant produce of corn, and wine, and operations of harvest. The villages and hab- flocks, the land-owners are rich exceedingly; itations of the peasantry, especially amongst but from the want of markets and good the Sclavonian population of the highlands, communications for export, they cannot be are squalid and unhealthy. The habits of termed wealthy in the commercial sense. the peasant are gregarious. In the fertile The nobles are exceedingly fond of grand plains one vast tract of golden corn is bound- equipages, equipments, and other forms of ed only by the horizon, and the weary trav- aristocratic display; and to procure the ready eller may journey far in fields of bounteous money necessary for the indulgence of that plenty, ere he is cheered by sight of human taste, they make great sacrifices at the shrine habitation. At remote intervals there are of the Hebrew Mammon.* The Sidonias, peasant towns-cities of hovels with serf great and small, are indeed almost the only citizens, varying from three to thirty thou- capitalists in Hungary. Mr. Gleig gives sand souls. There they herd together during some curious instances of the money power the winter, till seed-time calls them forth to they possess over the needy nobility, and the labor of husbandry, when they squat in incidentally notices some striking peculiarities rude huts till harvest-home. This gregarious in the system of land tenure. The influence practice had its origin in the fierce times of the Caucasian does not tend to mitigate when the great plains were ravaged by in- the vassalage of the astricted races. The vading Turks. What was begun as necessity, Hungarian land-owner enjoyed the undisputed has continued from the choice of a class too right of sovereignty within his own domain. degraded, perhaps, to seek out even physical No one could open an inn or public-house means of elevating their social state, or too except by permission of the great man. Nor poor and powerless to effect a change. But could any man introduce alcoholic liquors in the bounty of Providence, and in the without the lord's permission. Temperance march of liberal ideas, there is much hope, is not a peasant virtue among the Sclaves, even for the peasant-serf of Hungary's broad and here was a valuable and meet monopoly plains. It would seem that the feudal rule for the money-loving sons of Israel. in Croatia is even more severe than in the palatinate; for some years ago, what threat- “ Accordingly, the Jew, when applied to for a ened to be a fierce servile war was only put loan, invariably stipulates with the needy eidelman down by an overpowering military force. for the exclusive privilege of tenanting the inns However, all attempts to draw distinctions upon his estate, and of retailing wine and spirits in vassalage must be shadowy, for Mr. Gleig to his people. . Once established, however, in the tells us that, in the household of the Prince- enjoyment of these rights, and he holds both lord
and vassal at his mercy. The former dare not bishop of Kreutz, he saw men and women
move, lest the loan, with difficulty obtained, should with logs and chains upon their ankles. It be demanded back again ; while the latter, a slave seems astonishing, under such an unequal to his appetite, may be either won to anything, or distribution of power, and with slavery as a deterred from it, by the promise of a drám, or the domestic institution, how the nobility suc- refusal even to sell it. So far the power of the ceeded so long in maintaining the integrity Jew is felt,
and so far his privileges extend, but of their political constitution. It can only, they go no farther
. A Jew cannot, for example
, we think, be attributed to the incessant en
* Prince Esterhazy's diamond-gemmed jacket was gagement in foreign and domestic wars, and
a nine days' wonder in the kingdom of Cockaigne, in a strong feeling of nationality in antago- some years ago.
last two years.
become the avowed owner of a rood of land. He | These details may seem irrevalent to a statemay encumber the noble's estate so entirely, that ment of the merits of the great Hungarian the produce shall
, in fact, become his own; or, question now at issue; but it will presently should the produce be inadequate to cover the in-be seen that they are of great importance in terest of the loans, he may even force the debtor to sell his lands, and himself take possession of estimating the magnitude of the changes, the purchase-money; But he may not, in his own social as well as political, which the popular person, enter upon the occupation of these lands party in Hungary have instituted within the and retain them. Let him, indeed, renounce his religion, and this disability passes away. His re- Since the time of Joseph II. a movement ception of the sacrament of baptism puts him at in favor of large social reform has grown and once on a political level with other eidelmen; for gathered strength. The first important
point ham, though utterly despised, are in Hungary gained was under the administration of Count treated as freemen.”
Szechenzi in 1835, who carried a measure in
the Diet for the protection of the serfs from The peculiarities of land tenure, and of the the capricious violence of the nobles. Under practice of the Hungarian law as effecting it, that statute magistrates were appointed for are these :
each komitat, before whom delinquents must
be brought, and without whose sanction the " It is a remarkable fact that, in Hungary,
punishment of the lash could not legally be estates cannot, in strict propriety of speech, be sold at all. A man may burden his land with
inflicted. The Hungarian Tories grumbled mortgages to any amount; and if he fail in paying much at the change; and direful were the the interest, or satisfying others of the creditor's predictions, by the protectionists of the counclaims, the creditor may enter upon possession. try party, of ruin to Hungary from the aboBut neither in this case, nor in the event of a lition of the monopoly of corporal punishspecial bargain, is the original owner supposed to
ment. Mr. Gleig tells us, that in 1837 this forfeit, either for himself or his heirs, the right of
was the constant burden of the comments of recovery. A stranger purchases, in fact, but a
the eidelmen on Count Szechenzi's measure : thirty years' occupancy, and no more; at the ex
Do piration of which, it is competent for the former
think this is possible? Do you proprietor, if he be alive-or, in the event of his suppose that the nobles can or will obey an death, for his nearest of kin—to commence pro- edict in itself so preposterous ? We do not ceedings of retriever. But it is much easier to
obey it. We do punish in the face of the begin a suit in Hungary, than to obtain a judg
law, and some of our people know, while ment. The courts, which consist of the magis
they submit, that we are acting illegally. tracy of each county, afford the utmost imaginable facilities to delay. They hear every statement on
Can this continue ? Surely not. Depend both sides; they pause long and often, to weigh upon it, that Hungary is on the eve of great their relative plausibility; they, send back the changes, and what the consequences may be suitors again and again to amend their pleas; and time only can determine.” The changes wben, at length, a decision is obtained, the party came almost within the decade; and happily, defeated may apply for a new trial, which is in no
too, a change came o'er the spirit of the best instance refused him. Finally, when all the
of the nobles. quirks of the first tribunal are exhausted, an ap
The Count Szechenzi's reform policy was peal lies elsewhere; till the case comes at last before the supreme court in Pesth, where years may principally directed to the development of elapse before it be called on.
the physical resources of the country, by is, that he who has once disposed of his property, the construction of public works, roads, because he was unable otherwise to sustain his bridges, and other aids to intercommunicacredit, may, unless some extraordinary change in
tion. But an earnest, and in time a powerful his circumstances befall, relinquish all hope of popular party, sprang up, desirous of effectever recovering it. His right may be admitted everywhere-ay, even in the courts before which
ing radical improvements in the condition of it is necessary to establish it; but the sort of proof the people. Their political position may required is so strange, and the process of deducing seem anomalous. They were the conservait so tedious and so expensive, that more than the tive radicals of Hungary, defending the value of the property at issue is sure to be ex- ancient rights and privileges of the constitupended in the prosecution of the claim. I was
tion against the encroachments of Austria told of several suits which had been pending for five-and-twenty years, and nobody appeared to an
on the one hand, and advocating broad ticipate that decisions would be obtained for five
popular reforms on the other.
The policy and-twenty years longer."
of the court party being imperial centraliza
tion, was revolutionary as opposed to the Free trade in land was a point for the first point, and stationary to the other. Hungarian reformer as well as at home. Conspicuous in the ranks of the patriot
party, and ever foremost in earnestness of gratuitous school for apprentices; an induspurpose and liberality of opinion and policy, trial union ; lectures on natural philosophy, was Ludwig or Louis Kossuth, of Kossuth- chemistry, and mathematics ; and competifalva, in Zemplin. He comes of a noble but tion for the promotion of the industrial arts. decayed Magyar family, who gave much In 1847, he was elected deputy for the service to the Hungarian State ; for during komitat of Pesth, by a splendid majority; the wars of national conservatism, from 1527 and in the Diet, his large powers of mind, to 1715, seventeen members of the family fervid eloquence, skillful debating talent, and were declared by Austria guilty of high thorough knowledge of public affairs, at treason. Kossuth was born at Monok in once raised him to the leadership of his 1801, and according to the custom of Hun-party, which had now become the majority. garian gentlemen, was sent to study law; It was then that the Diet devoted itself to he adopted the bar as his profession, and be the great work—to use the emphatic words came a learned and popular advocate. But of Count Tekeli—“TO his vocation was statesmanship; and about Hungary.” twenty years ago, he earnestly directed his To accomplish that end, the Diet proattention to political studies. In 1832 he claimed civil and political equality, without went to the Diet in the capacity of reporter, distinction of language or religion, equal and and edited its transactions in a manuscript proportionate participation in the public imjournal; for at that time the Hungarian posts by all Hungarians, and the complete legislature adopted the favorite policy of an abolition of all privileges. Irish member in our own, and excluded the press.* After the close of the Diet, Kos
“The nobility,” says Count Tekeli, " did not suth continued his journal, and published by merely doing away the privileges they enjoy
consider that they accomplished all their duties the transactions of the county meetings, ed; they consented to deprive themselves of a which were very interesting in 1836, as the portion of their property, to concede gratuitously reactionary ministry of Count Palfy was to the peasants the land they had received from then threatening a serious inroad on the them as peasants. Thus, certainly, there were constitution. The country was in a ferment,
many families ruined and fortunes shattered ; and many arrests were made on charges of but it was necessary to give citizens to Hungary high treason. On the 6th of May, 1837, day of liberty which shone upon their native land,
—it was necessary to take advantage of the first Kossuth was arrested for refusing to obey a and to assure to it a morrow. Thus they did not ministerial order forbidding the appearance stop short after proclaiming liberty; they finally of his manuscript journal, and for having established its foundation, in granting property to declared that order illegal. His trial ex
those who heretofore were not qualified to poscited great public interest ; and his personal
sess land; they did not merely proclaim equality, defense was eloquent and masterly, but he they firmly established it
, in promoting prosperity
universally amongst all classes; and in giving to was found guilty, and sentenced to imprison- the cultivator of the soil the land of which, until ment for ten years. This increased the fer
then, he had only been the occupier, and to the ment of the country; and after an earnest possession of which he owes his present political protestation by the Diet, Kossuth was re- rights." leased under the general amnesty of 1840, granted by Count Mailath, the successor of
The suffrage law requires that the elector Palfy. In the following year he commenced should have for qualification what is barely the editorship of the Pesti Ilirlap, the first sufficient to live upon. Every one who is liberal newspaper published in Hungary; possessed of real or personal property to and he became the centre for the liberal the amount of £30, exercises electoral party, all the leaders of which rallied round rights. In the towns, these rights are exhim, with the exception of Szechenzi, whose tended to those who are in receipt of an policy, as we have seen, was to promote
annual sum of £10, to those who possess a material reforms. Owing to some misunder-college diploma, and to workmen having apstandings amongst the members of his party, prentices. The laws were first proposed in Kossuth relinquished his connection with the second Table, or Chamber of Deputies, the journal in 1844, and for two years de- and voted unanimously; and at the request voted himself to educational and other re
of the Archduke Stephen, the Palatine, forms-establishing, during that period, a cousin to the Emperor King, they were
passed unanimously also by the Table of * The debates were, however, afterwards official- Magnates. On the 11th of April, 1848, the ly published in the Hungarian “ Hansard." king came personally to the Diet, and
VOL XVIIL NO. L
solemnly confirmed the statutes in these These proceedings were joyfully accepted words :
by the Hungarian nation, and even in Cro
atia, which was more under Austrian infiu“ Having graciously listened to and graciously ence than any other portion of the kingdom, granted the prayers of our beloved and faithful Agram, the largest and most important dignitaries of the Church and of the State, mag- komitat, declared its satisfaction and desire nates and nobles of Hungary and her dependencies, we ordain, that the before-mentioned laws to continue united to Hungary. As a great be registered in these presents, word for word;"point" has been urged by oligarchical and, as we consider these laws, and their entire writers in reference to what they call Croat contents, both collectively and separately, fitting resistance to Magyar domination, it is imand suitable, we give them our consent and ap- portant to look at the facts of the case. probation. In exercise of our royal will, we Croatia has long had a national or general have accepted, adopted, approved, and sanctioned them, in assuring at the same time our faithful assembly for the regulation of her peculiar States, that we will respect the said laws, and affairs. In the general Diet of Hungary she will cause them to be respected by our faithful was, however, federally represented by subjects.
three deputies. The executive government (Signed)
“ FERDINAND, was advocated by a governor, under the (Countersigned) “ BATHYANYI.” But there were questions of national in- tenance of its alliance with the monarchy; and untegrity, as well as of internal progress, Highness, the Archduke Palatine Stephen, is equal
der these circumstances, the person of his Royal whieh demanded reform. It was necessary ly inviolable. to assure to Hungary a Parliamentary Gov- 3. His majesty, and in his absence the palatineernment, and an independent ministry, ema- viceroy, are to exercise the executive power, in nating from and responsible to the National accordance with the laws, through the organ of Assembly. In short, it was necessary to decrees, orders, and judgments, whatever they may
the independent Hungarian ministry; and their give force to pre-existing laws, to create a be, shall not be valid until they have been counternational government, and consecrate for- signed by one of the ministers residing at Budaever the ancient independence of the coun
Pest. try; that is to say, establishing in practice
6. Whatever has been, or ought to have been, up that which always existed according to the Hungarian Chancery, the Council of Lieutenancy,
to the present time, under the jurisdiction of the laws.
the Aulic Chamber, (including the mines,) and all
affairs civil, military, and ecclesiastic, as well as 5 Article III. of 1848,” remarks Count 'Tekeli, everything that concerns the finances and defense * modified considerably the situation of Hungary of the country, shall for the future be regulated and in relation to Austria; so that the old imperial directed by the Hungarian ministry; and his mapolicy, tending to incorporate Hungary with the jesty shall exercise the executive power exclusively empire, received a decisive check, and that the through his ministry. tendency towards a central government, residing absence of his majesty, by the palatine-viceroy;
11. The prime-minister shall be named, in the at Vienna, and making Hungary a dependency, reserving to his majesty the power to ratify or became a dream not to be realized without the annul the appointment. overthrow of two States and two constitutions, 12. The other ministers shall be presented for for the benefit of absolute power—a pretension the approval of the king, by the prime minister. which cannot be clothed with the slightest pre- 13. One of the ministers shall always reside near dext of legality.”
the person of the king; and charged to take part in
those affairs which concern at the same time his Accordingly, amongst the laws to which own country and the hereditary States, he shall be the solemn assent of the king was given, as
the responsible representative of the kingdom.
14. In addition to the minister residing near the already stated, it was provided that Hun- king's person, according to section 13—to watch gary should have a national and independent over the interests hereinbefore mentioned, the government.*
ministry shall be composed of the following departments :
A. The Home department. * Here is the text of the most important sections
B. Finance. of Article III. of 1847-48, on the formation of the C. Public works, roads, canals, and naviresponsible Hungarian ministry :
gation Section 1. The person of the king is sacred and
D. Agriculture, industry, and commerce. inviolable.
E. Public worship and instruction. 2. In the absence of the king, the executive
Justice and grace. power, limited by the laws and by the constitu- G. Defense of the country (war). tion, is administered in the kingdom and its de- 18. Each minister is responsible for the ordinance pendencies by the palatine-viceroy, with full that he has countersigned. powers, save the unity of the crown, and the main- 19. To protect the public interests of the king.