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which Kossuth became "a dextrous and thoroughly accomplished notary," his diligence was rewarded by an appointment that launched him at once into public life. Invited by "several deputies," he proceeded to Presburg, then the seat of the Diet, to assist in reducing to legal form the business committed to them by their constituencies. The date of this engagement is not given; but it must have been some time-probably three or four years-before 1835; nor are we told how the student became connected with the members who gave him this office. The fact itself, however, proves that Kossuth while at the University must have made himself already known beyond its lecture-rooms as a youth of capacity and promise, through some relations not quite consistent with the recluse life described by the writer of the memoir. The emoluments of his charge "at once secured him the means of prosecuting his favorite studies with sufficient leisure; while at the same time the business intrusted to him and the correspondence belonging to it were carried on with the utmost punctuality and diligence. *From this employment Kossuth derived a two-fold advantage:-he became, in the first place, known and trusted by the people, through his charge of preparing the reports rendered by the deputies to their constituents, and in the second place, he acquired in it a thorough acquaintance with the different parties in the sovereign Diet of Hungary."
of Zemplin, in North Hungary. According to Frey's account, he is not of true Magyar blood; his father being described as "Slovack noble," although so poor as to depend for his subsistence on manual labor. The family were Protestants; and it was to a minister of this religion, in an adjacent village, that young Kossuth owed his first education. The boy, we are told, attracted the pastor's notice when conversing with him, by showing "acute intelligence and a clear, open understanding." Of his early years we hear little that can be safely relied on. It is said, on the authority of "communications from some of his friends and comrades," that he "despised the company of the other children of the village," "and loved to spend his hours in solitary musings on the banks of the murmuring Ondawa." However this may have been, such dreams could not have lasted long. His teacher was called away to a distant cure; both his parents were carried off by a pestilence that ravaged the country; and the orphan boy had to seek his further support from some distant relatives. By their means he was placed in the Gymnasium of a neighboring town; where, we are told, he devoted himself with ardor and success to studies, particularly of history, and of this to the Hungarian beyond all others. The pride of his teachers, the first in his class, he neglected the sports of his age for solitary researches into the past; but when with his schoolmates, he gave early proof of the eloquence which was one day to echo throughout an entire nation. In 1826, Kossuth, eighteen years old, "feeling himself already big and strong enough to maintain himself," left school for the University of Pesth. In "the excesses for which the Magyar students were notorious" he took no part, but labored hard at his chosen study of law; his leisure being still given to the favorite pursuit of history, which now led him to investigate the political constitutions of Europe, especially of France and of Eng-lation of the censor. It was now determined land. His subsistence the while was probably earned by assisting richer students. "In oppressive poverty," says Frey, "in the severest need, Kossuth passed the fairest season of his life." It was no bad training for the future leader of a nation to have been, however sternly, taught in the first place to control himself.
After some years of this discipline, during
*The Slovacks, of whom it is said there are upward of 2,000,000 chiefly in the north-east of Hungary are of Slavonian origin.
In this post, while satisfying his patrons, he rapidly gained the acquaintance and confidence of other members. This appears from the new employment in which we find him engaged not long after his arrival at Presburg. The usual newspapers being forbidden to print the transactions of the Diet in detail, the opposition members effected their publication to a certain extent by getting written reports lithographed; and these copies, circulated as private letters, escaped the muti
to give to this private news-letter all the features of a regular journal, in which the business of the Assembly should be not only reported, but commented upon: and Kossuth was chosen for its editor. "With a courageous freedom of tone unheard until now, Kossuth discussed the proceedings (of the Diet); and the opposition was delighted to have at length obtained an organ through which its principles might be advocated in
presence of the entire nation." The Government of course "attempted as often as possible to confiscate this journal; maintain
ing that lithographed as well as printed works | belonged to the province of the press, and were equally liable to the censorship." After January, 1835, it was repeatedly seized, in spite of the protests of the opposition; but it still continued to appear, and found its way to every corner of the land, until the coup d'état of February the 6th,-when the Archduke suddenly closed the Diet, and the Government seemed resolved to quell the spirit of opposition by severe and arbitrary measKossuth-who on the close of the Diet had established a new journal, intended to report the proceedings in the local (county) assemblies-came at once into collision with the royal authorities: and having disobeyed their mandate to cease the publication-in reliance on a renewed authority from the committee of the county of Pesth, he was "seized by soldiers in the night, and thrown into a deep gloomy dungeon in the citadel of Ofen." To the severity of his treatment here is ascribed not only the ill health which we find often afflicting him at a later stage of his career, but also that vow of "hatred and revenge sworn against the House of Hapsburg, to the fulfillment of which the whole of his subsequent life," says Frey," has been devoted." After an imprisonment of "more than two years," (again we are left to guess the date which may have been between 1838 and 1839,) he was liberated "at the close of the Diet, in one of those amnesties by which the Government fancies it may win the favor of the people." Hereupon, Kossuth immediately "connected himself with the most determined democrats of Hungary." The fruit of this union was the establishment of the Pesth Journal (Pesti Hirlap), -which Frey says he edited "as the organ of the radical party." The newspaper "soon obtained an immense circulation," and continued in high repute so long as it was conducted by Kossuth; who, however, resigned the editorship to other hands some time before the year 1845,-when we find him as a speaker in the local assembly of Pesth, declaiming in person against the unconstitutional system of the Government. Throughout the two following years we may suppose that Kossuth continued to distinguish himself as a popular orator in these assemblies, and on such other occasions as presented themselves. The memoir is silent respecting this interval; and the next notice of Kossuth which it affords is the important fact of his election in 1847 as one of the two (opposition) deputies returned to the Diet for the county of Pesth, under circumstances of more than usual ex
citement. The Government, it is said, always unable to prevent the return of liberals in that quarter, hoped to procure at least the election of some one less formidable than Kossuth had now become, by his "fiery impetuosity, the passionate glow of his eloquence, and his unbounded influence with the people." The latter, it is said, compelled the opposition to put him forward, at a time when that party still hesitated at naming a candidate peculiarly obnoxious to the ruling powers. One would like to know something more of the process by which the humbly born orator had thus early grown to be a favorite of the people and a terror to its governors. On this point, again, the memoir says nothing; but we may conjecture that the influence first gained by his pen was afterward heightened by frequent public use of his powers as a speaker on topics of popular interest. The manner of his return for the district of the capital at all events leaves no doubt as to the position which he had now reached in the public eye, as one of the foremost hopes of the liberal or national party. Kossuth, now in the flower of his age (41), at once took a commanding place among the opposition members of the Diet. "Of this party Prince Louis Batthyany was the leader, and its orator was Kossuth."
Early in 1848 the outbreak of the French Revolution gave the liberals new vigor. It was from Kossuth's lips that the utterance of their hopes and resolutions first electrified the Diet; and it is said that the arrival of the report of this speech at Vienna gave the signal to the popular outbreak in that city:-it is reported in the volume before us. have admired its eloquence, and what in England would be termed the "parliamentary tact" with which on a dry financial subject -a question touching the credit of the Hungarian Bank-the whole aspirations and demands of the national party are brought into the foreground by the orator. On this occasion, and indeed throughout the whole memoir, the historic eye will be struck with evidences of a change in the nature of the levers that now raise or depress the political fortunes of Europe. New influences, it is clear, are gradually usurping the once decisive authority of the sword. In this commotion of Hungary-the land par excellence of warlike impulses-we find the prominence of relation and powers that can take root only in peace continually brought to notice. Matters affecting credit, commerce and finance are seen to be quite as important as the motions of armies in the field. They figure
among the prime objects to be secured: and | family since the battle of Mohacz in 1526, with some of these weapons a warfare has been waged between Austria and Hungary not less formidable in effect on the state of both combatants than the shock of hostile troops. The Magyars' armed resistance has been roused by a leader whose panoply is not the soldier's. Everything, in short, even in this struggle, the issue of which must depend for the moment on the trial of military powers, evinces the tendency of such forces, once supreme in determining the fortunes of war, to fall into a secondary position hereafter.
From the period at which we have now arrived, the personal career of Kossuth is merged in the fortunes of his country. Before proceeding to seize some features of these, one may note that Kossuth, when raised to office as we shall presently see him in the Ministry of Finance, came forward at the same time as the editor of a newspaper bearing his own name (Kossuth Hirlapja); in which, during an interval of suspense, while the minister often found it needful to temporize in act or to speak with courtly reserve, the journalist indulged himself in a bold expression of his personal opinions and wishes, with a combination of parts-both equally avowed by the actor-which may be described as without a precedent in the political drama. A word on Kossuth's personal appearance, as we find it portrayed in the frontispiece to Frey's memoir, will not be unwelcome. The features, strongly marked and masculine, are decidedly handsome; the form of the countenance is oval; a wide forehead and large quick eyes, under a brow gently arched, give the face an expression highly intellectual; the mouth is small,-and the lips, slightly parted, bespeak an eager temperament. The nose, massive and aquiline, springs boldly from between the eyes, and is defined at its base by muscular outlines which, with the moulding of the chin, imparts a certain tone of firmness to features that would otherwise seem to promise more vivacity than resolution. The face altogether is not unworthy of a distinguished character; and an air of individuality in the portrait induces us to place more reliance on its truth* than we can afford to some of the written sketches in this volume.
Hungary, although its crown has been worn by successive members of the Austrian
* Our description, it will be seen, cannot apply to the ugly lithographed portrait of Kossuth now exhibited in the shop windows: which we hope is no better than a caricature of the features of the "De
has always remained an independent monarchy, possessing its own constitution, which each succeeding king has been required to ratify by a solemn oath at his coronation. It has been alleged that until recent times the influence of Vienna tended on the whole toward improvements in the state of the nation at large; while the nobles, to whom the constitution gave the chief power, resisted these as invasive of their special privileges. For the last thirty years, however, while a more popular element has evidently been growing up, as well among the aristocracy as by the formation in the towns of something like a middle class-increasing grounds of complaints against Austria have been supplied by the system of the Metternich cabinet in the government of this kingdom-which, although avoiding any open breach of its independence, had the effect of reducing it in reality to the condition of a mere province of the Empire. The imposition on Hungary of the Austrian commercial system has long been one serious grievance of the kind against which the Hungarians have vainly protested; others were the refusal of a special government wholly residing at Pesth,-and the supreme direction of the affairs of the nation at Vienna, thus virtually excluding natives from the chief offices, and tending to give the whole civil administration a foreign character. In short, the Hungarians charged Austria with "an obstinate refusal to comply with their just and moderate demands for various liberal measures and necessary reforms; in refusing which, they alleged, the spirit of the constitution was willfully suppressed, with a view to the ultimate destruction of the independence of the nation; and they naturally seized on an occasion that favored the attainment of hopes long deferred.
They no sooner heard of the Vienna revolt, which closely followed the French Revolution in February, 1848, than they hastened thither to take part in the movement. Kossuth-whose Presburg speech, we have seen, gave the first spark to the explosionwas one of a numerous body of Magyars which a fleet of steamers poured into Vienna on the 15th of March; was rapturously welcomed by the populace,-and immediately made himself conspicuous by haranguing the citizens, imploring them "not to trust too readily to the promises of a Court." The Emperor, already terrified by the outbreak of his Austrian subjects, at once conceded the demands laid before him by the Hungarian
On the return of the Hungarians to Presburg, with the royal assent to these conditions, the Diet was dissolved. A new one, convened at Pesth on the 4th of July, installed a national ministry framed in virtue of the late concession. It was composed of nine of the chief members of the liberal party. Its president was the same Louis Batthyany already described as the head of the opposition; and Kossuth was in the list as Minister of Finance. "The new ministry," we read, was the flower of the intellect of the Diet:""its soul was the Finance Minister, Kossuth."
Although the nation had thus nominally gained its long-desired object, it soon appeared that the difficulties inherent in its connection with Austria were by no means solved by this victory. Others, raised by the same spirit of popular self-assertion that had won their cause, arose within the limits of the kingdom itself. The Magyar race is not the sole population of Hungary Proper. We have already spoken of the number of Slovacks in the north-eastern region. In the provinces annexed to the kingdom, including Slavonia, Croatia, Transylvania, Dalmatia, and the military frontier, the mass of the people is Slavonian. The Magyar proportion altogether is rated at five millions out of an entire population of twelve. In the kingdom of Croatia, especially, motions of socalled Panslavism had long troubled its relations with Hungary,-on questions of the official language, of education, finance, &c. The position of the latter, indeed, toward the Croats was not very unlike that of Austria toward the Magyars. In both cases the supremacy claimed was obnoxious to its objects, in both the desired end was national independence. The Slavonians now thought the time ripe for enforcing their claims also; while the new Hungarian Government showed a disposition rather to
encroach than to concede.
* Now a prisoner in the hands of the Austrians.
On this chapter Frey's testimony, as ab hoste, may be quoted with some confidence.
"Since the time when Hungary had extorted Austrian monarchy together had become so fragile its independent ministry, the bonds that tied the that the slightest touch, the least breath, threatened to dissolve them. Hungary by that act had torn herself loose from the combination formed by the other (Austrian) states; and thereby had made enemies not only of the many champions of the major part of the non-Magyar population of the integrity of the Austrian dynasty, but also of Hungary, and of the Slavonic people of her appurtenant provinces. No wonder, then, that the Slavonic population should have been filled with anxiety and apprehension, while Hungary by degrees proceeded to transform itself into a specific Magyar State, since, by this change, they must have seen their own nationality menaced. steps which made these apprehensions seem not illtrue that the Hungarian Ministry at first did take founded. The notion of the Ministry was that it could make all the Hungarians one united people by Magyarizing them. To this end, the Latin language, hitherto employed in all official business, was abolished, and the Hungarian introduced, not only in the courts of justice, but in the schools and the Diet. This proceeding excited hate and bitterness in nearly all the Slavonic inhabitants of Hungary,-who seized on this as a pretext to conceal their plans inimical to liberty under the show of alarm for their nationality."
The line of conduct which thus provoked reaction even in Hungary Proper, was not likely to be more acceptable to her Slavonic dependencies. Revolt soon broke out on the Theiss and Lower Danube. At the head of the Croats stood the Ban Jellachich; and it is mainly to the consequences of their movement-which the Austrian Emperor at first affected to discountenance as a revolt, but which the Court always secretly and afterward openly encouraged-that the total rejection of the Hapsburg dynasty by Hungary is to be ascribed. This view of the question will not be found in Frey's memoir. But it appears, we think, clearly enough in all the facts which are here supplied by authentic documents.
The National Assembly, we are told, mainly consisted of three parties:-1st. A section of the aristocracy (Magnates), liberal on the whole, but firmly attached to the Austrian connection; 2nd. A middle party, including the new Ministry, whose watchword was the entire independence of a free Hungary,-if possible, under an Austrian King, if not under some other sovereign or form of sovereignty; 3rd. An extreme radical or revolutionary party, represented by some thirty members,-the latter almost
wholly belonging to the Lower Chamber (or | home rejoicing at the issue of an Imperial table, as it is called).
The second and third of these parties soon came into collision,- -on the question of the Hungarian troops serving in Italy, as the "radicals" complained, against popular freedom. The Ministers were not prepared on this point to deny to the King what he was constitutionally entitled to command: and we find Kossuth emphatically pleading against the demand for the recall of these troops; nay, promising on certain conditions to urge the Diet to further reinforcements, a proceeding that the editor finds it hard to reconcile with the thorough-going revolutionary character or the avowed hatred to Austria which he loves to assign to his hero. He explains his conduct as a feint to gain time for a complete Hungarian revolt; and imputes to Kossuth an extreme of dissimulation hardly reconcilable with "fiery impetuosity," in order to relieve him from the charge of willingness to subserve the ends of Austria in other quarters provided she would frankly leave the Hungarians to govern themselves—and, it may be added, would assist them to put down the Slavonian "rebellion." This soon grew to be the most serious matter they had to deal with. The ultra views of Magyars and Slavonians were seen to be irreconcilable. The Austrian Court, when appealed to by the former, professed its desire to support Hungary against the "rebels" on the Lower Danube; and when Ban Jellachich evaded the mandates from Vienna, actually proclaimed him a traitor. But it was soon apparent that this was a mere pretence of anger. The Emperor was powerless in the hands of his "Camarilla." Its head, the Archduchess Sophia-described in these pages as "a Messalina," who had enslaved the Ban by her blandishments-had chosen this leader to restore the cause of Absolutism by the aid of the Slavonians; and advantage was eagerly taken of the umbrage unwisely given by the Ministry at Pesth to enlist the provinces on the Austrian side. The alliance, at first secretly suspected, was in time overtly proclaimed; and the civil war of races, which had been raging on the frontier since the month of June, thereupon virtually became one between the old despotism of Vienna and Magyar independence. The conflict grew more bloody and the position of affairs more critical when Austria began to triumph in Italy. The Emperor, indeed, while at his refuge in Innspruck, had promised everything to a deputation from the Hungarian Assembly; and sent them
manifest, addressed to the "Croats and Slavonians,"-denouncing the motions of Jellachich as treasonous, warmly insisting on the rights of Hungary, and warning the Slavonic and Croatian provinces to rebel no longer against her supremacy. But the proclamation was disregarded; and the Emperor's subsequent contradiction by positive acts of every word which he had said in it constitutes the fatal breach of faith on which the Hungarian nation justify their rejection of the House of Hapsburg. The July events in Vienna completed the rupture between the Slavonian and Magyar parties. The final defeat of Charles Albert was known there early in August; and shortly afterward the so-called counter-revolution began. One mainspring of this, it soon became evident, was to be a Croatian army, raised and led by Jellachich. The difficulties of the Ministry at Pesth-whether still desirous, or merely thinking it still expedient, to remain loyal to an Austrain King-daily increased. We have already mentioned the war of finance measures, the reciprocal denunciations of Pesth and Vienna bank-notes-between the respective Ministries. In the cabinet of Vienna the luckless Latour now began openly to foster insurrection in Hungary :-arms, cannon, and ammunition were supplied to the Slavonian levies from Austrian arsenals. The state of things grew worse until September;-when a last solemn mission was ordered to repair to Vienna, to protest against its continuance, to obtain a definite answer from the Emperor on the menacing preparations of Jellachich, and to entreat him to repair in person to his Hungarian kingdom. The deputation was received with sullen reserve. In reply to the firm and ample statement of their grievances, the Emperor read a brief and evasive reply; while the courtiers, it is said, scarcely affected to conceal an air of contempt and triumph. The deputies returned "with a red flag hoisted on the steamer" that bore them homeward. From Vienna they saw there was nothing to hope :-the independence of Hungary must thenceforth rest on the issues of war. On the same day that the deputies reached Presburg (the 9th of September, 1848) "Jellachich crossed the Drave with an army of 18,000 regular troops and a horde of Servian and Croatian robbers, 26,000 strong, and, in the robber's fashion, without any previous declaration of war, in defiance of all national law, pressed on toward the heart of Hungary."