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service to the State, to defend the country | dom; next to them in rank were the king's from internal turmoil and foreign invasion; chief retainers, with the holders of fiefs but, like the militia force of England, they under the princes and prelates, with their could not be compelled to go beyond the principal retainers; the third order of magbounds of the country-a useful check, un- nates consisted of the untitled gentry—the doubtedly, on the ambition of adventurous eidelmen, or primal squirearchy of Hungary, spirits. So long as military skill was requi- all of noble descent. The rest of the people site to keep the Magyars in their new govern- were serfs. The privileged classes were exment, their aristocratical political system ceedingly tenacious of their rights and privicame within the moral sense of the term, leges; they yielded military service to the "the government of the üpotov
, or the best;" State, and pecuniary aid, when admitted by but when more settled times enabled leaders themselves to be requisite ; but the sovereign to serve themselves as well as the State, the could exact no aids from his subjects, withwealthiest became the best, territorial lords out an express vote to that effect in the nathe most excellent of the land, and the aris- tional assembly. The comitia or national tocracy of young Hungary degenerated, council was not a representative body, for step by step, into a plutocracy. Geysa, or all members of the privileged classes attendGeyson, the third in descent from Arpad, ed in person ; neither could it be termed a embraced Christianity; and his son Stephen, deliberative assembly, for, accompanied as who attained the dukedom in the year 1000, the magnates were by their retainers, the under the proselyting patronage of the Ro- comitiæ were sometimes attended by eighty man See, exchanged his coronet for a crown. thousand men. Stephen added Transylvania The diadem consecrated by Pope Sylvester, to the Hungarian kingdom. In the course and by him presented to Hungary's saintly of the next two centuries, Sclavonia, Croatia, king, still exists in the dear regards of the Dalmatia, Bosnia, Servia and Gallicia were nation.* But Holy Church is prudent in successively added to the dominions of the her generosity. When she could patronize crown. monarchs, and bestow rich gifts, she ex- On the death of Stephen without issue, pected a tenfold profit. The enrolment of the country for a time lapsed into a state of Hungary in the array of Christendom was anarchy; but order was restored by the no exception. Stephen built churches and election of Ladislaus, the representative of a monasteries, and endowed rich sees. A new, junior branch of the house of Arpad, in 1077. powerful,' and ofttimes most troublesome It was during the rule of this prince that branch was thus engrafted on the original Croatia and Sclavonia were added to Hunaristocratic stem of the Constitution. Stephen gary.
* The march of social refinement made divided the kingdom into seventy-two komi- some progress in softening the rude manners tats or lordships, over each of which he of the martial nobles in the twelfth century; placed a chief. The declining aristocracy of especially toward the close of it, when Belas merit, under the genial glow of priestly in the Second married a daughter of Henry of fluence, expanded into a more unbending France. system of class distinction. Three orders of
In the first quarter of the thirteenth cenprivileged men were instituted in the king- tury, we come to a marked and interesting dom: foremost were the princes, the mag- era in Hungarian history_namely, to the nate churchmen, and the barons of the king-establishment of the rudiments of a regular
ly-defined constitutional and representative * The fated stone of Scone, carried off by Edward system. In the reign of Andreas the SecI. for a coronation-chair for his saintly namesake's ond, in the year 1223, eight years after the chapel at Westminster, was not more devoutly regarded by the Scottish nation, than is Stephen's barons of England had compelled John to crown by the Magyars. Joseph II. deeply offended grant Magna Charla, the magnates of Hunthe nation by removing the crown to Vienna.
gary obtained a similar charter, under the Since it was restored by his successor, it has, till title of the Golden Bull. very recently, been preserved with reverent care in
The charter, after recognizing the ancient the chapel of the palace at Buda. On the advance of the Austrians to attack the capital, in the present privileges of the nobility, in substance prowar, to save it from the unholy touch of the hands vided that the magnates should sit as herediof these Philistines, the crown was taken to Debreczin; and with what a burst of pious horror did the scribes of our oligarchical press narrate that Kossuth * His daughter, the Princess Sophia, married a had stolen the crown. Peace to their troubled prince of the house of Hapsburg, the origin of the souls! Stephen's crown will probably long outlast family connection of the present imperial family his monarchy!
tary legislators in the national diet or as- | Constitution,* and that he shall be invested sembly; and that the inferior nobility, or with all the insignia of royalty. There is untitled gentry, with the body of the clergy, a curious and somewhat anomalous office should be represented by members of their attached and subsidiary to the regal dignity. respective bodies; but all other classes of The Palatin of Hungary discharges the the community were beyond the pale of double functions of viceroy of Hungary citizenship. With the progress of social civilization, there gradually arose a middle class between the nobles and their peasant Hapsburg line, was elected to the throne, he took serfs ; and about a century and a half after the following path, which has been the form of the the Golden Bull was granted, they received the coronation of Ferdinand V.: “Nos Ferdinandus,
act of fealty observed by all his successors down to a quasi political recognition. In the reign Dei gratiâ Hungariæ, Bohemiæ, Dalmatiæ, Croatiæ, of Sigismund, the representative branch of Scalvoniæ, &c., Rex Apostolicus, Archi-dux Austriæ, the legislature was increased by a burgess &c. Qua prælibati Regni Hungariæ, et aliorum class, the delegates or deputies from the regnorum, ac partium eidem adnexarum Rex, jufree towns and royal cities. To trace the
ramus per Deum vivum, per ejus Sanctissimam
Genitricem Virginem Mariam, ac omnes sanctos; exact historical progress and development quod ecclesias Dei dominos, prælatos barones, magof the Constitution, would far exceed our al- nates, nobiles, civitates liberas, et omnes regnicolas, loted space; it is enough to say, that the in suis immunitatibus et libertatibus, juribus, legiConstitution of Hungary, under the rule of bus, privilegiis, ac in antiquis bonis, et approbatis
consuetudinibus, conservabimus, omnibusque justithe imperial dynasty, has been successively tiam faciemus ; Serenissimi quondam Andreæ Regis recognized and confirmed by the treaties of decreta : (Exclusa tamen et semota Articula 31 Vienna, in 1606, and Leutz, in 1647; and ejusdem decreti clausula incipienti: Quod si vero by the inaugural diploma of the Emperor observabimus. Fines regni nostri Hungariæ, et quæ Joseph the Second, in 1790. And here it ad illud quocunque jure aut titulo pertinent, non may be convenient to anticipate the course abalienabímus, nec minuemus, sed quoad poterimus, of history, and give a brief sketch of the augebimus et extendemus, omniaque illa faciemus, Hungarian Constitution as it existed down to quæcunque pro bono publico, honore et incremento 1848, when the patriotism of the nation en
omnium statuum, ac totius Regni Hungariæ juste larged its boundaries, admitting all classes facere poterimus ; sic nos Deus adjuvet et omnes
” of the people as free citizens of the common- * So important is this ceremony deemed by the wealth.
nation, that it has been customary, during the The Constitution may be theoretically reign of the King of Hungary, to crown his succesdescribed as a mixed form of monarchy, nand I. of Austria, (the fifth Ferdinand of Hungary,)
sor as heir presumptive. The late emperor, Ferdiaristocracy, and democracy; but practically who abdicated his Imperial throne last year, was it was a rigid oligarchy. It had king and crowned King of Hungary some years before the lords, with the phantom of a Commons. decease of his father. His abdication has never been
The monarchy was limited, and latterly recognized by the Diet of Hungary; he is, therefore, hereditary, in the dynasty chosen by the still, de jure, King of Hungary, and his nephew and
imperial successor, the “Boy Emperor,” is conseportion of the nation having legislative quently a usurper within the kingdom of Hungary. power. The person of the king is sacred. + The coronation, which takes place at Presburg, He is the executive chief magistrate, by is described as a ceremony of great solemnity and whom all civil appointments are made. He splendor. Like its counterpart among ourselves," is the temporal head of the Church, ap- in Hungary, in 1837, “it is regarded as the ratifica
says Mr. Gleig, in his interesting account of a tour points to all ecclesiastical dignities, and re
tion of a covenant between the sovereign and the ceives the proceeds of all vacant benefices.* people, and is performed amid much poinp, both reHe is the fountain of honor, the head of the ligious and civil. The monarch elect, attended by army, the arbiter of war or peace; and with his magnates and councillors, repairs to the cathe
dral, where the officiating prelate administers to him rests the power to call out the Honveds, him the customary oaths. He is anointed with the or national force, to the field ; he has also holy oil, and undergoes the usual routine of enthe power to summon and dissolve the robing and crowning ; after which he proceeds on States. The Constitution requires that, horseback, the states of the realm in his train, to the within six months after his accession, the feet high, which stands just outside the city, and
Königsberg. It is a circular mound, perhaps fifty sovereign shall call together the States of commands an extensivs view over the plain, both the realm, take the oath of fealtyf to the eastward and southward. This the king ascends,
his nobles and knights, and dignified clergy, being
collected in a mass round its base; and as all are on * On failure of heirs, all property in Hungary is horseback—as their dresses are picturesque, their ipso facto inherited by the crown.
arms and housings costly, and their port chivalrous + When Ferdinand I., the first prince of the l in the extreme-the spectacle is, perhaps, as grand
proper, during the absence of the king and to give assent to or reject new laws proWhile the sovereign is in the kingdom, the posed by the executive power. The Constipalatin acts as a kind of mediator for the tution requires that a Diet shall be held whole country, between king and people, once at least in five years. The only other with a view of preventing an encroach- legislative feature that requires to be noticed ment on the popular liberties and regal pre- here is, with respect to the mode of voting. rogatives on or by either side. The palatin The two Tables vote in four distinct bodies, is elected for life by the Diet, from one of a each of which votes separately on the queslist of four persons presented to the king. tion proposed. The absolutě majority deTill the Reform Act of 1848, the administra- termines the question. There is, or was, we tion of the kingdom was conducted through believe, a parliamentary rule to the effect the Hungarian Court of Chancery at Vienna. that no member should vote on a question
The States or Diet of Hungary are divided unless he had previously spoken on it; but into two Chambers or Tables as they are on this point we do not speak confidently. termed—the Lords and the Commons of the Of the social working and effects of this kingdom. The first Table is composed of the political system, we shall have to speak royal barons, the high officers of the crown, when we come to describe the changes introthe prelates, counts, and free landlords of duced into the constitution, or, more prothe kingdom. The house is hereditary, and perly speaking, for its popular developthe members number from six hundred to ment, through the liberal and enlightseven hundred. The palatin is president of ened policy and patriotism of the Diet of this assembly. The second Table consists 1847–48. of the deputies from the komitats, (that is, We must now resume our narrative, and the representatives of the untitled gentry,) briefly state the leading events of Hungarian and from the enfranchised cities and towns. history subsequent to the grant of the GoldThere is a third and very singular element, en Bull by Andreas II. In 1301, the male viz: the elected representatives of those line of Arpad became extinct in the person nobles who do not personally attend in the of Andreas IV. The crown then passed upper house. These members are termed into the house of Anjou, by election of the
ablegati absentium.” The total number of States. Through the female line, these deputies does not exceed two hundred and princes claimed descent from Arpad thus : fifty. The representatives were paid by Charles le Boiteux, son to Charles the first their constituents. The Speaker or President Count of Anjou, and King of Sicily, and the of this House of Commons, whose official younger brother of Louis IX. of France, title is “Personalis presentatiæ Regiæ in married the Princess Maria, daughter of judiciis locum tenens, as far as respects the Stephen IV., King of Hungary. His eldest double offices of president of a legislative son, Charles Martel, (who pre-deceased house and of one of the supreme courts, re- his father,) was elected king by the states sembles our Lord High Chancellor.
of Hungary, on failure of the male line of The legislative functions of these two Arpad. On the death of this prince, who bodies are these: the election of a new
son named Carobert, his younger sovereign, in the event of the extinction of a brother Robert disputed the succession, dynasty, or of the confirmation of a succes- which gave rise to some confusion in the sor in the case of an ordinary demise by kingdom. The pope decided in favor of death ; the election of Palatin of Hungary ; | Carobert, who reigned from 1308 to 1342; the granting of subsidies and imposing taxes, and was succeeded by his son Louis, sur
named the great—1342-1382—who, marryas can be met with in any part of Europe. Meaning the princess Elizabeth, daughter of king while
, the king has ridden to the crest of the hill, Ladislaus of Poland, united that country to where, before the bishops, he again gives the Hungary. Louis contributed much to the pledges which had been exacted from him in the splendor of the Hungarian throne, the docathedral. Finally, he draws his sword, and mak. minion of which extended from the Baltic ing a cut towards each of the cardinal points, there- Sea to the Adriatic. Considerable intellecby denotes that, let danger come from what quarter
he will repel it. Then are medals scattered tual progress was also made, and the Uniamong the crowd; then is the air rent with shouts; versity of Buda was founded in this reign. and the princely cavalcade returns to the city in the Louis' left two daughters : Maria betrothed same order which attended its outward progress." * In Croatia and Sclavonia, the viceregal chief or
to Sigismund of Luxemburg, afterwards governor is called the Ban; in Transylvania, the emperor; and Hedwig, who subsequently Vayvóde.
married Jagellon, Grand Duke of Lithuania.
This failure of issue male involved the king-dissensions of the country, invaded Hungary, dom in many troubles, and resulted in the and seized Nicopolis, on the Danube. Sig. separation of Poland from Hungary. Dur- ismund having applied for foreign aid, ing the minority of Maria, the government France sent a fine army to his assistance, was conducted by the queen dowager and commanded by the son of the Duke of Burthe palatin Gare; but being very unpopular, gundy, and comprising the Count D'Eu the the States sent an embassy to Charles king constable, Jean de Vienne admiral, and Jean of Naples to offer him the crown. Charles, le Maingre Boucicaut, marshal of France, who was a kinsman to the young queen, and the flower of her chivalry. Men of accepted the offer, and was crowned at other nations and all arms joined the host Buda in 1386. A reaction of popular feel of 100,000 soldiers which Sigismund led ing, however, soon arose in behalf of the against the Turk. young princess, and Gare and the queen- “Ils firent du commencement des actions mother treacheously invited the king to d'une valeur incroyable,” says the historian their apartment, under pretense of showing Mezeray, when alluding to this enterprise of him a letter from Sigismund, resigning pre- his countrymen, “mais leurs folies et leur tension to the throne, and he was killed by dissolution les rendirent ridicules aux Turcs an assassin in their service. But a terrible mêmes.” The Christians met with some revenge overtook the murderers. The partial successes at first, which they abused queens, accompanied by the palatin, having by murdering the prisoners whom they had occasion to journey into Lower Hungary, captured. Having besieged Nicopolis, BajaHiornard, the governor of Croatia, who zet the Thunderbolt marched to its relief ; owed his rise to the murdered king, hastily and in the battle of Nicopolis, on the 28th of assembling a body of troops, surprised the September, 1396, the allies were signally royal cavalcade. The palatin and his atten- defeated. Bajazet made terrible reprisals on dants were instantly put to death ; the dow- his captives. Sigismund, instead of making ager queen, after the most humiliating ap- exertions to repair this disaster, sank into peals for mercy, was drowned in the river luxurious repose, which further alienated his Boseth, and the young princess was cast nobility to such an extent that, in 1401, they into a frightful dungeon. Sigismund, who seized and detained him prisoner. In 1410, had been living in retirement in Bohemia, the captive, having gained the ears of his put himself at the head of some troops, guards, succeeded in escaping into Bohemia ; and, entering Hungary, was well received whence he soon returned, with a force which by the nobles. Hiornard thereupon relaxed enabled him to remount his throne. Sigisthe severity of his treatment of his royal mund was one who profited by the bitter lesprisoner, and even offered to set her at sons of misfortune, for the remainder of his liberty if she would procure his pardon. Hungarian rule was characterized by moderThis she promised; and she was escorted to ation and justice. His election to the head Buda, and received amidst public rejoicings of the Germanic Empire in 1411, belongs to Sigismund, who was then but twenty years general history. Hungary continued to be of age, was soon after crowned king of ravaged by the Turks; and Sigismund's last Hungary; but despite the guaranty bis military achievement was to lead the Hussqueen had given, the governor of Croatia ites against the infidels, with considerable and his followers were put to death with success. By his second queen, Barbara of great cruelty. The queen died very soon Cilley, whose gallantries are celebrated in after these transactions; and Sigismund story, Sigismund left one daughter, Elizacommenced a series of the most tyrannical beth, married to Albert, Duke of Austria. persecutions against all who supported the The nomination of this prince made by Sigill-fated king of Naples. The Count Ste-ismund as his successor, was confirmed by phen Contus, and many of the principal the States. Amurath, the Turkish Sultan, magnates, were seized and beheaded with having entered Bulgaria, and laid siege to cold blooded malignity. This barbarous Sideravia, Albert marched against him ; but murder excited the princes and nobles so a violent dysentery put an end to his short much, that they one after the other took up reign, in 1439. He left his queen pregnant arms against the tyrant. We have detailed with Ladislas the Fifth, commonly called Lathese tragical events, because they mark the dislas Posthumus. commencement of a series of troubles which afflicted Hungary for centuries. Bajazet,
* Abrégé Chronologique de l'Histoire de Fravce, Sultan of the Turks, profiting by the internal 1 iii. 151.
At this period the famous name of John gained new dominions, and regained several Hunnyades appears in history. This chival- provinces lost by his predecessors; and one rous soldier was a Wallachian, surnamed of his achievements was the expulsion of the Corvinus, from the place of his birth. Hav- Turks from Bosnia. Matthew died in 1490; ing rendered Hungary essential service in the and Wladislas, of Bohemia, grandson of Aldefense of the borders against the Turks, he bert and Elizabeth, was elected king by the acquired high reputation and influence in the States. His reign was unfortunate, and the nation. The Turks again ravaged Hungary country was sorely troubled by internal disand alarmed Christendom. Through the in-sensions and Turkish invasion. An attempt tinence of Hunyades, Wladislas, king of Po- was made in 1505, by Count Zapoyla, a powJand, was raised to the throne, and Hunnya- erful magnate, to pass an act in the assemdes was made Vayvóde of Transylvania and bly of the States to revive an ancient law, to chief leader of the army. A solemn truce, the effect, that in the event of the failure of the concluded between Wladislas and the Sultan, royal line, the choice of a sovereign should for ten years, having been broken at the in- be limited to natives of Hungary. The opstigation of Julian, the papal legate, and on position of the royal party led to an insurthe papal morality that “no faith is to be rection, which was not quelled till 1512, nor kept with beretics,” the fatal battle of War- without the aid of the emperor. Wladislas nau, in Moldavia, was fought in 1444, in was succeeded by his son Louis, a youth who which the Polish and Hungarian host were fell at the battle of Mohacs, in 1526, when completely worsted, and Wladislas perished. Solyman defeated and drove the elite of the Hunnyades was elected captain-general and Magyar chivalry into the fatal swamp of governor of the kingdom, which he ruled Czetze. On this event, the party which had gloriously for ten years. In the mean time, supported Zapoyla now declared for his sucthe emperor Frederic III., to whom the cession to the throne. This nobleman had guardianship of the young Ladislas, son of previously persecuted the Protestants, who King Albert, bad been committed, delaying had become a numerous denomination in the to restore his ward to the Hungarian nation, State; and they now threw their influence Hannyades marched against the emperor at into the scale in favor of Ferdinand of AusNeustad, and compelled him to come to tria, brother to the emperor Charles V., who terms of accommodation; by which the had acquired a family connection with Hunprince was placed under the guardianship of gary, through marriage with the Princess liis maternal uncle, the Count Ulric of Cilley; Anna, daughter of Wladislas.*
A civil war but Ladislas tasted little of the sweets or bit- ensued, in which Ferdinand was the victor, ters of power, for he died at Prague in his and at an assembly of the States, in 1547, 18th year. Hungary was again ravaged by he was placed on the throne,f which ever the Turks, under Mahomet 1., the successor since has been occupied by his descendants, of Amurath. Then it was that Hunnyades the emperors of Germany or Austria, &c., marched to the relief of Belgrade, and gained and Kings of Hungary. I his celebrated victory; and the “joyful na- The history of the Hungarian monarchy is, tions,” to quote the words of Gibbon, “cele- from this point, included in that of Austria. brated Hunnyades and Belgrade as the bul. On the history of the Hungarian nation it is warks of Christendom.” But a month after not necessary that we should here dwell. It that event Hunnyades died, in 1456; and two presents a long series of invasions by their years later the nation elected his son, Mat- active enemies, the Turks, and of bold enihias Corvinus, to the throne.* The char- croachments on the national liberties on the acter of Matthew has been painted in glowing by
* The marital fortunes of this lucky house were Learning was patronized, and flourished; the celebrated in a popular Latin couplet
Bella gerant alii, tu fælis Austria nube; country enjoyed much prosperity; Matthew
Quæ dat Mars aliis; hæc tibi regna Venus.
+ On the abdication of Charles V., in 1556, Fer* This occurred on the death of Ladislas, in the dinand was raised to the imperial throne. preceding year. Matthew was not a complete con- † The gender is not, perhaps, historically correct; stitutional king for some years, inasmuch as the but it is so constitutionally. The “moriamur pro Emperor Frederic, a pretender to the Hungarian rege nostro Maria Theresa” of the enthusiastic nobilthrone, held the insignía of royalty, which he had ity has been laughed at as a Hungarian bull; but it obtained from Ladislas.
was in reality a legal or constitutional expression, + See Bonfinius III, 1, and Galeotti, (librarian to which probably had its origin in the tradition of the King Matthew,) “De Jocose dictis ac factis regis preference given to the male line, in the compact Matt, Corvini."
made with Arpad.