Title


CHAPTER XXII.

A CIRCUIT.

FOR some time I had the privilege of being the guest of different Hungarian families, and enjoying the pleasant family life their homes afforded. In some were evidences of the fearful storm which for awhile had raged throughout the land, and the wrecks caused by it were still visible. Each one had suffered ; but a few, from having property elsewhere, had been better able to retrieve their fallen fortunes. In all of them I found the same delightful ease which everywhere, under all circumstances, characterized my intercourse with Hungarians. The way in which the master or mistress met me on arriving at the mansion had a positive charm in it, and made me rejoice to have come so far to feel its influence. But this natural ease, the perfectly self-possessed air, combined with a most obliging manner, which, among other people, only perfect breeding and the very best society impart, seems inherent in the Hungarians. I remember an occasion of my coming quite unexpectedly to the house of one belonging to what we should call the middle class. After a cordial reception from the husband, bis wife soon appeared. How admirably she did the honours of her house, and with what grace ! In her whole bearing was a befitting dignity; and when, later, several high dignitaries made their appearance, she received them, and presided at her table, in a way that the first lady of any land might have been proud to have equalled. This peculiar something in the Hungarian was the more observable when it was contrasted with the manner of some nonHungarian ladies who were present. How much they lost by the comparison ! They seemed uncouth, compared to my graceful hostess.

Throughout the province are scattered very handsome residences, where, formerly, the Hungarian nobles lived in splendid state. In one was the remains of a turtle pond, where these animals were kept to supply the kitchen, -a luxury I do not remember to have heard of elsewhere. One such stately mansion the traveller sees in passing Gernyeszeg, on the roadside between Sz. Rcen and Maros Väsärhely. The place suffered terribly during the revo- lution : the pictures were destroyed, the floors torn up, the silk furniture carried away, the leather bindings of the valuable works in the library stripped off to mend belts or saddles. Not a window was Left,-nothing, in short, that could be destroyed. It has been restored with simplicity ; and such order, and neatness, and comfort reign there now, that it seems hardly credible the place could have been so lately the scene of ruthless devastation. The Maros flows along the broad vale here, which is very fruitful. The estate of Gernyeszeg is admirably farmed; and good ploughs, harrows, chaff-cutting and other machines, as -well as arrangements for steaming food for cattle, may be seen in the outbuildings. The whole, too, has been brought into a compact form, by exchanging or purchasing intermediate strips of land belonging to others. The rotation adopted is rape, wheat, clover, two years; rye, maize; then one year fallow, and again rape. In 1863 rape-seed was here 14fl. per kübel, wheat 4fl., rye 2fl. 40kr. On the 1st of December rye was as low as 1fl. 20kr. A man who has land is forced to farm it well; he must do so in self-preservation ; so heavy are the taxes, and so many are the disadvantages he has to contend with.*22_1 Lucerne thrives eight or ten years ; it is then ploughed up, and maize sown. Melons grow here in abundance : whole fields are planted with them, like those round London with strawberries.

At Gernyeszeg is an exceedingly well-bred stud belonging to Count Dominik Teleki. His horses have a good name; and from the specimens I saw, they deserve it. They are the produce of thorough-bred English sires and Transylvanian mares, are hardy, and bear, without injury, an immense deal of hard work. They are goodlooking animals, and fit for any gentleman to ride or drive. Carriage-horses are to be had from 600 to 800fl. and from 800 to 1000fl. the pair. Excellent saddlehorses for 500, 600, 700fl. apiece. The distances people travel here with the same horses for days together would surprise our English coachmen; and they neither break down nor refuse their food. The foals stroll about the straw-yard the whole day, exposed to the severe cold of winter, with coats as shaggy as bears, and with little or no corn. Count Lazar has also, near Maros Vásárhely, a considerable stud. He has spent large sums for the best English blood, and the horses he has bred are particularly showy animals,-rather long-legged, but with good points about them. They are, I should think, less well fitted to stand much wear and tear than those of Count Teleki. During the revolution, the different noblemen lost, in addition to other valuable property, their well-furnished studs, brood-mares, and stallions, which had been brought from England at a great expense.

22_1* Before 1848 the taxes amounted to two millions ; they are now eleven.

Maros Vás&aaute;rhely is the largest of the Szekler towns, and the centre of Szekler political life, just as Klausenburg has become the metropolis of the Hungarian population. The town has broad streets and well-built houses. There are excellent public schools, Catholic and Protestant, the

STREET IN MAROS-VÁSÁRHELY.
"STREET IN MAROS-VÁSÁRHELY."
latter richly endowed. But the pride of the town is the choice library of the late Chancellor, Count Teleki. He left it to his family, on condition that it should be always open to the public. The library itself is handsome, and the collection, especially rich in Greek and Latin classics, gives ample proof of the taste of the noble founder. There is, among other curiosities, a manuscript Tacitus from the library of King Mathew Corvinus. If proof were needed !--A CIRCUIT. 347--> of the blessed results of easy communication between one part of a land with the other, it is to be found here. Since the existence of a new road, the Gyergyo district, which has little corn, has been enabled to obtain its supplies from the fruitful plains bordering the Maros, instead of importing it, as formerly, from distant Moldavia. What an anomaly, for example, was it that, while in this vale maize was only two florins per kübel, the wretched population of Hungary was dying of hunger ! and all because there were no adequate means of getting the fruit out of the country, and bringing it to a spot where, by help of rapid transport, it could be made available. The highways, even in spring-time, after heavy snow, when all was beginning to break up, which is the most trying season for roads, I found excellent. They go in every direction through the country. Indeed, " more has been done in this respect in the last few years, by Government," so said my informant, "than in the hundred years preceding." Before 1848 a stage came to Hermannstadt with letters only once a fortnight; now, of course, several arrive daily.

There is a tract of country lying between Maros Väsärhely and Klausenburg, and bounded by the three rivers, the Maros, Aranyos, and Samosch, which, from its bare and forlorn appearance, forms a great contrast to the rest of the province. It is called Mezöseg-meaning, I believe, "moor," or "land without wood." It has all the character of downs, and not even a bush is anywhere to be seen. I went there. Far and wide, ridge rose behind ridge, looking bleak and desolate. The villages and the people partook of the character of the country, and seemed as cheerless as the landscape. A Roman road passed through the Mezöseg from Hatzeg, and went probably to Rodna. The low hilly country is cut up in all directions by not very broad, and nearly horizontal valleys, so that the water finds no outlet; and hence the ground in the vales is either marshy and covered with reeds and bulrushes, or long narrow lakes form there, abounding in waterfowl. The ridges of the hills, and the sides, when not too steep, form excellent arable land; and the harvests yielded here are most plentiful. The soil is the soft tertiary formation. The whole district is entirely without trees. The inhabitants burn straw, and dung, and maize-stalks, instead of wood; and, cold as it was when I was there, I saw many a thatched roof half pulled off to supply fuel. The pleasure felt at seeing again a tree after leaving this dreary country was really intense. The first I caught sight of, even at a distance, was hailed with delight, and pointed out to my companion as a subject for rejoicing. The gipsy settlements struck me as particularly wretched. My presence, as usual, caused great excitement; and soon, before every dwelling the inhabitants were assembled, debating among themselves what the visit might betide, or repeating to each other what I said, and the questions I had asked. Though cold and frosty, children of ten or twelve years of age stood outside the huts without a particle of clothing. In that state they will often sit on a piece of ice, and with feet drawn together, slide thus down a frozen slope. Many die, however, from exposure and privation; but the first years once over, their hardened frames bear every inclemency. These people can support heat and cold; everything, in short, except wind. Of that the gipsy has a thorough horror; it completely incapacitates him for anything; he shrinks before it helpless. Hence they invariably locate themselves on the sunny side of a slope.

All that relates to this race has for me an especial interest, and many a peculiarity of their habits and their nature, that I learned at different times, is well worth recording. The gipsy is altogether a better labourer than the Wallack ; he is much quicker, and more expert ; but he requires looking after, or he will idle away his time if he can, as well as the other. It is curious that certain work all. of them do well, while another sort of employment all do badly. They thresh well, for example; for which they are not paid in money, but receive, instead, a part of the grain. The gipsy also reaps and hoes well; but he cannot mow. This the Wallack does. For hemp work a gipsy woman is much better than a Wallack. Nor is haymaking the gipsy's occupation. What he excels in is earthwork, making embankments or trenches. In this no one can surpass him. There is everywhere a degree of prejudice against gipsies, they being, as it were, the Pariahs of Europe. But this is much stronger in the country than the town; the peasant being far more conservative and aristocratic in his notions than the citizen. And thus it happens, that in the villages no gipsies attend the schools, as the peasants do not like to see their children sitting beside them. It is the same sort of feeling as exists in America towards the black population. Yet in the Saxon town of Bistritz, several gipsy children frequented the public school: their parents lived in a good house at the end of the town, and I found the boys could read, and write, and cipher well, though neither father nor mother could do so; he was Protestant, she Catholic. At first the townspeople wished to have their children separated from those of gipsy parents; but the rector refused, saying if they came to school cleanly and neat, there was no reason why all should not sit together; and they came in as orderly a condition as the others. Those gipsies living on the estate of a noble, as a sort of appendage not to be got rid of, are generally of the religion of the lord of the manor, whatever that may be; a clan-like feeling prevailing among them. But should the nobleman in question do something that greatly offends them, they most likely will at once change their religion out of spite, and in order to have nothing in common with him. They speak the language of the community among whom they live. If the village consist of Hungarians, their language is Hungarian; if of Wallacks,

EARRING OF A GIPSY.  EARRING OF A WALLACK GIRL.
"EARRING OF A GIPSY. EARRING OF A WALLACK GIRL."
Wallachian. Sometimes they marry, that is to say, they have the wedding ceremony gone through ; but often they do not go to church, and merely choose a wife and live with her afterwards. But though the gipsy is looked on by others as the lowest in the social scale, he also looks on some of his class as beneath him, and unfitting for him to associate with. A gipsy of the village Csávás, for example, would not drink out of a glass from which a gipsy of Bonyha had drunk; and when working together in the fields, two pitchers of water must always be brought, in order that both may be able to quench their thirst. They consequently do not intermarry, as one says the other is unclean. Their payment, for labour at least, is always in kind,-corn, maize, brandy, etc. The sort of earrings a gipsy girl wears, a Wallack woman would not use on any account. The whole pattern of the ornament is different.

The gipsy that has left his rude uncivilized pomade life and is settled in a decent house in town, shows a taste for a certain elegance in his dress as well as the interior of his dwelling.*22_2He also likes fine linen, and to have it scrupulously clean ; he cares much for his clothes being of good stuff and well made, and were there a West End where he lived, he would most certainly go there for every article of his wardrobe. The wives of some of the richer musicians wear the finest lawn. The gipsy-soldier, as I have been told by officers who had these men in their regiments, is clean in his person, and vain; and, if of dark complexion, his shirt-collar and his gloves too are always the most resplendently white of any in the battalion.

22_2* The two rooms of a gipsy's house at Bistritz which I visited, were not only very neat but even handsome. There was a pianoforte in one, besides pictures and other adornings. I should not have desired a better for myself. The man paid eight florins taxes, and instead of ground-rentthe house was his own-he was bound to help to sweep the market-place, and, when called upon, to act as messenger to the municipal authorities. He had, he said, saved some money.

Those gipsies that are located-that are stationary are generally honest, and may be trusted ; the others, not. Those who are the dependants of a nobleman, living on his estate, would not rob him, the feeling of clanship before alluded to preventing this. All agree that they are cowardly; officers say so who have commanded them, as well as clergymen and landed proprietors who daily come in contact with them and can observe their nature. The whole race is musical. There may be some of the better instructed who can read the notes; others play only by ear. For song they have no talent.

Like any child of nature, a gipsy is mistrustful of him who lives in a different world from himself, with wants and contrivances and tastes of which he has no idea, and which are to him unintelligible. Like the Red Indians, whose portrait Catlin painted, so the gipsy is at first afraid when you take his likeness. To him it is " medicine," which he cannot understand. He fancies, too, he loses somewhat of himself or his identity by the process. A lady artist, struck by the beauty of some children, had them fetched that they might sit to her; but they got in a great fright, and it was only by degrees they were brought to endure the penance. They never liked it, and even the money they got would hardly induce them to come. From the same cause a gipsy will sometimes cover his face, when you look at him, for fear of being laid under a charm.

In the neighbourhood of the Kokel, I found that the gipsies intermarry with the Wallacks and Hungarians. Whether this is general I cannot say, but I rather think not. Several of them possessed oxen, and were therefore comfortably off. Just as the Wallack is fond of cattle, the gipsy has an especial taste for horses; perhaps this may in some measure account for his skill in shoeing. Gipsies are everywhere the best farriers, and as blacksmiths, generally, they excel.

GIPSY GROUP TRANSYLVANIA.
"GIPSY GROUP TRANSYLVANIA."
All the ironwork of a vil-lage is done by them. They may almost be said to have a genius for that and for music.

From Bonyha I drove, one morning, to S6ros, where there is a very curious phenomenon. The following ac- count of it, by Ritter von Hauer, in his ` Geologie Siebenbürgens,' I give in preference to my own :--

"Inflammable gas streams out of the earth, at a place near Kis-Säros, one-and-a-half hour's distance north-east of Baassen, at a somewhat wet spot on the north side of a hill, between grass and maize fields. The spot itself is named 'Zugo,' by the natives ; and it is about 11 fathom in diameter, and sparingly covered with reed-grass. Within this were several holes of 6-12 inches in breadth and depth, some dry, others full of water. In the former a hissing noise was heard, in the others a ferment (az f brausen), accompanied by a not inconsiderable rumbling. On straw being ignited here, the gas burned till it was extinguished artificially. The water in the holes contained few foreign particles ; it was somewhat impregnated with common salt only. On digging down, to discover the cause of the gaseous vapour, the following took place: The whole spot was dug out to a depth of more than five fathoms, like a well. Under the mould, yellow clay was first seen, which afterwards changed into blue clay, and deeper still into aluminous earth, and occasionally into a black clay, mixed up with bitumen. This dark-coloured stratum could not be made to ignite. Lower down came a thin spongy stratum of marl, and below this, at the depth of five fathoms, hard rocky ground, requiring good implements to break through it. Large blocks were lifted out, but when it was seen that all below was solid rock, and that miners would be required for sinking a shaft, the further prosecution of the work was given up. This hard stone wa,,:s found to be identical with that of the rocks of Baassen, formed of freshwater limestone, abounding in flint, and containing many organic remains, shells and plants.

" It was here found that the gas itself was less spread, as to space, below than on the surface. The quantity and nature of the gas was the same, and there was no change, only that the lower it was in the shaft the higher the flame flickered up, and was the more difficult to extinguish. At the bottom of the shaft the ground was pierced with innumerable holes like a sieve, of the size of an earthworm or a straw, and through these pipe-like orifices the gas streamed, and with such force that it was felt like a wind on the bare hand, and bent back a piece of paper or blew it away.

"On the fields, in the neighbourhood of the Zugo, the same freshwater limestone is found lying about in lumps. The hills-for a considerable distance-consist principally of clay, in horizontal strata, changing below into soft slate, in which is found 'imperfect coal,' in pieces half an inch thick. The oldest inhabitants say- that since the memory of man this phenomenon presented the same appearances as at present.

" This outstreaming of carburetted hydrogen gas at Kis-S,hros and Baaassen, is clearly analogous with that which appears on a much grander scale at Pietra Mala, in Upper Italy,-in the neighbourhood of Baku on the Cas- pian Sea, in China, in North America, etc.,-and is closely connected here, as in all other places, with the presence of salt deposits. In most places where carbonic springs are known to exist, they do not depend solely on the presence of rock-salt, but principally on the co-presence of naphtha or bitumen. The circumstance that bitumen was found in the clay where the shaft was sunk at the Zugo, seems to speak for the above assertion. On the road from Mediasch to Baassen are also several."

In the next village are salt springs, from which, on Fridays, the inhabitants are allowed to fetch water for cooking. All around here, the hills are full of salt.*22_3 On one slope is an excellent vineyard.

On a hillside, close by, may still be seen large pits, six feet in diameter and twenty feet deep, excavated by the inhabitants of a village that once stood here, to hide their corn in, during a Tartar invasion. Of the village itself not a trace remains.

On returning, we passed one of the battle-fields of 1848. The Austrians had been driven back, and a body of them had retreated into the house, now an inn, on the roadside, where they were all killed. " Would they not surrender ?" I asked. "Yes, but too late," was the reply. My cicerone, a Hungarian, had been present, and received a bullet, which entered below the ear and came out under the eye. His father had been murdered by the Wallacks. It always surprised me to meet constantly with men who had lost their nearest and dearest relations in this way, living in peace and harmony with those who had so grievously injured them. I could not have believed it possible that such wrongs could ever have been pardoned, and the fearful wounds inflicted have so soon scarred over. It is a peculiar feeling with which we, who have been spared for so many generations the horrors of civil war, move in a land among those who have bled in one themselves, and have been witnesses, and partaken in scenes, of hideous massacre. Each spot, each person, has some fearful tale to tell.

At Bonyha is the mansion of the gentleman, before mentioned as having done so much for the culture of the vine, Count Wolfgang Bethlen. His farm, too, is in excellent order, with roomy stabling for the cows and oxen, and improved implements.

22_3* In some places, as at Sz. Pál, near Sz. Udvarhely, and at Bilak, near Bistritz, in building a house you will find salt in the cellar.

I was surprised one morning by seeing on the lawn before my windows, placed there for my inspection, a collection of ploughs used on the estate. A new one, for hillside work, was a most clever contrivance. Here is the largest apiary I had ever seen. It is a field boarded in, with beehives all round, and at one end a cottage where the bee-master lived. The vineyards, which I went to see, have an excellent site, and produce some of the best wine. They are on a clay soil, with slate below it.

On the roofs of the pavilions storks have built their nests, and a most interesting anecdote was related to me of these birds. When an outhouse took fire some years ago, the storks had a nest on the top; the flames were rising around the thatch, and as the young birds were too weak to fly, the old ones fetched water in their bills and wetted them with it. The occurrence was seen by the land-steward, as well as by one of the house servants. The valley of the Little Kokel is very pretty, and the more you advance eastward the more attractive it becomes. I spent a pleasant afternoon at the house of a Hungarian gentleman, whither I went to taste his wines, and found there most agreeable society. The tables were strewed with English books, and at our cheerful dinner English was frequently spoken. A day's drive further on is Parajd, where a very remarkable mountain of salt is to be seen. An elongated barren hill rises near the place, and here, above ground, the mining is carried on. The whole mass is pure salt. To the north-east is another salt-hill, Szovdta, which may be walked round in two hours. A brook ripples against its sides, and another enters the mound and issues again impregnated with the mineral ; occasionally it forms a lake within. Great crags of salt, several fathoms high, rear themselves in the air. There are clefts in the sides of the mound, and, when undermined by the water, vast fragments are detached and roll below. In 1858, at Parajd, an overhanging mass, of at least 50,000 cwt., of pure salt, thus came toppling down into the stream, stopping its course and covering the fields on the opposite bank.

The road from Bonyha to Elizabethstadt is extremely pretty, and full of variety. You pass through valleys with wooded hills, and villages ensconced at their foot. Now you come to a Saxon settlement, and the large strong stone houses, and the air of order and neatness, tell at once the nationality of the inhabitants, even did you not see the simple rhymes on the house-fronts, and the names of the possessors, and the date of their building. The Saxons are fond of this sort of decoration, and from the Book of Proverbs many a verse is taken and inscribed on the white walls. From Elizabethstadt to Malmkrog, one valley leads into another. Slopes, pastures, with peeps up to amphitheatres of wood and into other vales, succeed each other. Malmkrog (Hungarian Almakerek) was a family estate of the princely house of Apaffi, and on a hilltop above the village is a monument of George Apaffi, father of Prince Michael I. It was executed by a self-taught Hermarmstadt artist, Elias Nicolai, and is quite in the style of the time when it was made, the first half of the seventeenth century. The prince is represented at full length, reclining somewhat on one side, his hand beneath his head upon the cushion. The cushion is richly embroidered and embossed, and it is the exactness with which all the minute ornaments are represented, and the exactness of their imitation, which has caused this piece of sculpture to be looked. on with such admiration by the inhabitants. I have already said that a proper understanding of art is not to be found here.*22_4 An uneducated taste always sets an inordinate value on servile imitation ; and the fold in the stocking of Roubiliac's Shakespeare never fails to attract the wondering admiration of the crowd. And it is the joints in the gauntlets, the graving on the armour, the lace of the pillow, the leaves and fruit that border the whole, which here are looked upon as miracles of art, and caused every one to speak to me of this monument as a work that had no fellow.

The legs of the figure are crossed. At the foot a vine branches forth on both sides, and its stem and tendrils and bunches of grapes form a trellis-work of foliage, among which a child is introduced holding a scroll; there is, too, a Turkish helm and like devices, as well as armorial bearings held by an angel. On one side, with these words on a scroll, " What you are, I was ; what I am, you will be," is a skeleton, really wonderfully executed, every rib and joint being given with the closest accuracy; and as the vine twines partly round it, there was a great deal of difficult chiselling to do, so as to leave all beneath hollow and as "natural as life." It is all this part which is looked upon as " a triumph of art." At the four corners of the monument are figures of Faith, Hope, Justice, and Charity. The expression of the prince's countenance is very placid ; he seems in a tranquil sleep. At the top of the head is a thick wave of hair, but all the rest is shaven-in accordance, perhaps, with Turkish usage, he, Apaffi, being a vassal of the Porte.

The nose and beard of the principal figure and the heads of two others are broken off, besides other wanton mutilations. During the revolution the Wallacks took down the bell which was in the belfry of the chapel, immediately over the monument, and in doing so caused the injuries.

22_4* It is undecided, I believe, whether photography is " an art " or not. Whatever it be, it is in a very advanced state in Transylvania. At Klausenburg, Herrmannstadt, and Bistritz, I obtained photographs which received in western Europe unqualified admiration.

There are Saxons here who, with the rest of the mixed population, were once serfs. It is surprising to see the change that has taken place in these men since they have become free. Their houses, which formerly were little better than those of their neighbours, have been pulled down and rebuilt of stone, and have now the same air of solid well-to-do life which distinguishes all the German settlements in the province. At Csikmäntor it is the same. You find good stone houses, with the dates 1850, 1851, 1860, etc., all of which were before as miserable as the rest. Such is the blessed, vivifying and invigorating effect of freedom, awakening energies which a state of servitude prevented from being born.

I went to the school here during school hours. Both the rooms, for girls and boys, were full. It amused me to see the pleasure of the children when I examined them in ciphering and geography, and the ambition of those who knew the answer to say it, when the individual questioned hesitated with his reply. They read well, the writing of many was very good; some of the bigger lads were cleverer at head-reckoning than I was. They knew all the capitals of Europe, and could tell me a little about each. Then came a puzzler for them : "Where did they suppose I came from ?" I asked. All sorts of guesses were made, to their great amusement, as they looked at the map before them and sought out some place that they fancied likely to be right. And as they never thought of England, I put my finger on it, and pointed to Bath, and told them that was the place. Their astonishment was boundless, when they saw the distance it was from Transylvania. 'l'hen they followed very sensibly the whole route; their schoolmaster told them about England having endless ships, of her power, etc., which still increased their wonder; and I think they will not soon forget the circumstance of a real live Englishman having visited them in school. I am fond of talking with children, and in another village, Klein Bistritz, I frequently did so as I walked about. They liked it rather, and thought it good fun; and when they saw me coming, used to laugh and wait. It was surprising how well informed-up to a certain point-the little rascals were ; and when I asked where a considerable European town was, they seldom were unable to tell me.

I found everywhere that even the peasantry were well up in Saxon history, I often sat down in a simple cottage, and the owner would relate, with dates, all about the exodus of his nation. I account for this in two ways. Being immigrants, and being, too, always on the defence of life, property, and rights, all that occurred to them was intensely interesting, and consequently well remembered. The history of the people among whom they lived was not theirs, nor had anything to do with them. Events on which their existence as free men depended were dates in their individual lives, and in their life as a people,eras by which they marked the course of time. And these, mixed up as they were with others of daily life, with certain liberties, rights, and special privileges, became fa- miliar to most of them, like so many popular traditions.

Another reason for this knowledge is that the Saxons possess a history of their nation (by Dr. Teutsch), in a concise form, and written in so attractive a manner that it has become, and very naturally so, a people's book. They read and study it as they would a calendar.

There are the gutted remains of the mansion of the Hungarian lady of the manor above the village,-a large handsome building once, of which only the walls are left. Wherever a piece of iron was to be got, the walls were knocked down to obtain it. There was a grove of large box-trees round the house, which the Wallacks, with their wonted antipathy to such products, cut down. In the cellar, which during the revolution was full of wine, the casks were staved, and the ground inundated with the costly wine. It had been partly stored again, and I drank of the excellent vintages it contained.

There is a church here going fast to ruin, which, were it anywhere else than where it is, would be carefully preserved from dilapidation. I asked how it was that neither roof nor walls were repaired. " Since the revolution," was the answer, "people will do nothing they are told. No one obeys. The civil authorities do not help us; there is no subordination." Over the altar are two good oilpictures on panel, of the fifteenth or beginning of the sixteenth century. They have been sadly treated ; and the most curious fresco paintings, representing the Passion, on the vaulted ceiling and walls of the church, have been whitewashed over. But this has proved a protection, and if carefully removed, which would be an easy matter, a great part of the quaint old decoration might be preserved.

Prince Michael Apaffi, the son of him whose monument stands on the hill, was a simple gentleman of Malmkrog. In the numerous struggles with the invading Tartars, he was once made prisoner and carried away by them. His wife meanwhile span and wove, or ordered her farms, and did all she could to raise money for the ransom of her lord ; and when she had got a sufficient sum, sent it off by a trusty friend to purchase with it her husband's liberty. And so he returned to his home. Now it happened that after the usurpation of Zäpoyla the disorder in the land was great. The Szekler rose against his son, and were defeated ; and then, after George Rakotzy's election, there came again a time when there was no ruler; the Turkish Sultan wrote that, come what may, a Prince of Transylvania must be elected. Ali Pasha was then at Maros Vds6rhely, and, as he stood at the window, thinking over his sovereign's commands, not knowing what to do, and fearing that, were lie to delay, the bowstring might soon tighten round his neck, he sees a tall strong man just crossing the market-place, and, sending after him, tells him "You must be Prince of Transylvania." Strange as the proceeding may at first seem, it was not so in reality, when we consider the time, the land, and the man who made the choice. At that period a strong arm was the best patent of nobility; in that country, too, strength alone gave right. Ali Pasha had seen at home how the lowest slaves had risen to posts of trust, and he therefore seized at random on the first who seemed to give promise of nerve and sinew. "I!" replied the astonished prince elect ; " I know nothing of governing ! I can't read or write ! I am a butcher!"-" No matter," said Ali Pasha ; "a man may be an excellent regent though he cannot read." But the butcher was unambitious, and still resisted. " If you want a man as Prince of Transylvania, I can tell of one who has no equal ; and if you will, let us go and seek him out. I will lead you." And with five hundred Turkish horsemen they rode to Malmkrog, and surrounded the castle. Michael Apaffi, he who had been captive among the Tartars, was its owner. His wife, who soon after gave birth to a son, was in great fear that new sorrows were to come upon him. At once he was saluted as prince, carried to Maros Vdsdrhely, and proclaimed regent. At Abosfalva (Dogs' Village) the prince had his kennel, for A that time there were boars and buffaloes in the land.

A small Catholic church is here. It is simply a peasant's cottage, and outside on a framework of wood-a sort of scaffolding-hang the church bells. This was only about eight feet high, but in other places which I passed on my journey there were some like good-sized towers standing beside the church. They were the rudest, simplest form of the Italian campanile. The whole was well constructed, and firmly braced together by cross and transverse beams, with supports on both sides to resist the effect of the heavy bells' oscillation. One saw how the use of large bells had originally necessitated and led to the erection of stone towers, in order to obtain greater firmness ; and they, at the same time, served as "towers of strength" when the little community was exposed to a sudden. inroad of the foe. Their erection in Transylvania was of early date,*22_5 for in an old chronicle it is recorded that when, after the Mongol invasion of 1241, Ihogerius passed through the wasted land, the church towers were the only way-marks to guide him from place to place.t-j-22_6

22_5* Friedrich Müller, ' Die Kirchliche Baukunst des Romanischen Styls in Siebenbürgen.' Wien, 1859, p. 19.

22_6-j- t See in that most interesting work, "Lives of the Engineers," vol.i. p.233, 1861, an account of a curious memorial of the past, in the shape of Dunstan Pillar, " a column seventy feet high, erected about the middle of last century, in the midst of the then dreary, barren waste, for the purpose of serving as a mark to wayfarers by day and a beacon to there by night."

Hence I crossed the hills to the castle of a Hungarian nobleman at Kreisch (Keresd). None but horses of the country would have dragged a waggon up such steeps, and through hollow ways so narrow that our vehicle was always tilted on one side. My first exclamation on seeing this fine baronial residence was, "Would that this castle were in England!" for then the ruin which is impending over it would be averted. You enter by a broad stone archway into a large court, where all that meets the eye tells of ancient time. At the end is a massy tower, to which a covered flight of steps leads, as well as to an open gallery that runs along one side of the court. There is another smaller court or garden, where formerly were handsome halls, as the remains of frescoes and the slender shafts of columns plainly show. Everywhere are interesting traces of antiquity.

OLD TOWER IN THE CASTLE AT KERESD
"OLD TOWER IN THE CASTLE AT KERESD."
It is a delight to wander round the place, and, discovering here and there fragments of what once was, to rebuild in ima- gination the old stair or the noble hall, or the archway that is now half fallen. The old kitchen, with its massy stonework and the well close by ; the cellar, to which you descend by a few steps, with its groined arches ornamented with tracery and the stone pulpit on one side, showing that the place was once used as a chapel; the coats-of-arms and letters, with ancient dates, still legible in the walls,--all give a charm to the spot, and tell you of a time long since past. One inscription says, "This old castle was repaired A.D. 1557." Thus three hundred years ago it was thought ancient. The oldest date to be foudn is 1340, with the initials M. B(ethlen). An oldfashioed bedstead has the name Clara Karoli, 1578; it is little better than a trough,but must then have been looked upn a something out of the common way, for the circumstance "this bedstead renovated, 1678," is recorded on the side.

It was at Gross Alisch, near Eliabethstadt, that Johann Kemény fell in battle against the Turks. He was cut to pieces, and his body could not be found. His sister, Christina, --married to a Franz Bethlen, the noble family to hwom htis castle still belongs,--went to seek the body, like Alditha, Harold's wife, after the disaster at Hastings. The eyes of love foudn what others could not see; and the body is said to have been brought hither for internment. A stone with his arms is also said to be his monument.

The castle stands on a green slope, overlooking a gardne, where carefully tended and rare flowers give evidence that fair hands and womanly taste have been at work. Before the revolution, preparations were being made to restore this fine momuments of ancient power and glory. But when the storm hdad passed, the ruin left behind was such, that there could be no thought of providing for more than the mere necessities of life. And so this old plac,e so historically intersing, so picturesquely beautiful, moulders yar by year into decay. Thus here in a once handsome room, the blue sky looks in through the broken roof. It was sad to see, and it was impossible not to feel this the more, when you entered the inhabited apartments and enjoyed the warmth, the comfort, the cordial. welcome and moved amid the lovable feminine arrangements of modern life, elegant in their very simplicity; when, too, you saw the noble bearing of him who, amid the wreck, had not lost his former dignity or forgotten his grace of manner or old generous hospitality : when, I say, you contrasted all this, as you involuntarily did, with the ruin around you, a pang was felt in the heart, and it was some time before even the gladdening presence of sweet and gentle looks could dispel the gloom or charm the sadness away.

At a Saxon village in the neighbourhood I expressed a wish to pay a visit to the priest of the Greek Church; and the Protestant clergyman took me to him. On our way, he said, " But how shall I make him understand that you are an Englishman? for you must not suppose he knows much about geography."-"No matter," I said; "besides, if you want to tell him, at all events he has heard of England, and if so, he can understand that I come from there."

The pope's house was like that of any peasant, but neat and clean, with the barest possible furniture. His daughter brought bread and cream and wine, and he pressed us in a friendly manner to partake. He was a handsome man, and his brother, who was there on a visit from a neighbouring village, where he also was pope, still more so. Both had dark complexions, with full, jet black, long beards, of which a grand vizier might have been proud. This brother, who had an eye of fire and an intelligent look, was, as I learned afterwards, a great agitator.

My host asked me about the state of England, and the war that was then raging. He thought it quite natural I should have left it, to escape the bloodshed and horrors going on there. I assured him all was quiet, and that there was no war; but I do not think he believed me. Then he inquired if it were true that there was war in Poland; for, somehow or other, he fancied that I must have been there, and that Poland and England were not far apart. My companion told him, in order to give him a notion of distance, that I had come across the sea-had been obliged to do so to get from England to Transylvania. "It is possible," he said, shrugging his shoulders; evidently meaning that, though he would not deny it, quite as much might be said against as in favour of the assertion. He inquired, too, if Wallacks were in England, or Hungarians ; and on hearing that there were not any, he was very much surprised.*22_7

22_7* It occurred to me afterwards, that his strange notions about a war in England arose from his confounding England with America, where English is also spoken.

I was pleased to see the friendly footing on which the priests of the two creeds lived together. The pope occasionally paid the Protestant pastor a visit, but such companionship offered him very little resource.

When the clergy are so illiterate, what can be expected ,of those who look to them for enlightenment ? The priests of the "Unirte Kirche"-the United or Latin Church acknowledging the Pope of Rome as supreme head- are not quite so uneducated as those of the " Nicht Unirte Kirche"-Greek Oriental Church, of which the Patriarch at Constantinople is the chief head. These latter learn just enough to get through the prescribed ritual, but as to studying theology or any other department of know ledge, such a thing is not thought of. At one place where I staid, the priest of the Greek Church worked daily with the other peasantry, from whom he was not to be distinguished by dress or aught else, for twenty-four kreutzers a day, as Flossknecht,-that is, a labourer who drags the felled trees into the river, fastens them together, and makes them into rafts. He was in every way well fitted for his employment. In another village, the people told me they had turned their pope away; for he was such an incorrigible drunkard, they could not have him any longer. An acquaintance related how, once seeing a number of men laying hold of a person who struggled to get free, he asked what was the matter, and received for answer, "This is the priest, and as to-day is Saturday, we are going to lock him up till to-morrow, so that he may keep sober; for if we do not, he will be so tipsy in the morning as to be unable to read the service. When church is over, we shall let him go again." I know one place where the Greek priest asserted that the bad harvest was owing to the number of witches in the land, and that it would not be better till they were exterminated. Reputed witches who have died are disinterred, and turned round in the grave, to destroy their spells.*22_8

In a village where I was staying, a Wallack farm-labourer asked the Protestant clergyman what he thought about his pope's last Sunday's sermon, in which he told his hearers that a stone had fallen from heaven, and in it was a letter to Bishop Schaguna, in which God ordered him to tell the people, that if they did not fast and pray more regularly, and lead a better life, He would send an army of grasshoppers into the land,-not common ones, however, but animals with beaks and claws of iron,-and they would destroy their harvests, and would afterwards attack them, and the people would not be able to shake them off. The pastor met the pope soon after, and said, laughing, "Well, friend and colleague, what strange things you have been announcing! "-" It is all very well for you to laugh," said the other, "but your people are more sensible; mine are stupid; and when I set to work with them, I am forced to give hard blows,"-(literally "to go to work with a sledge-hammer"). I must startle and frighten them. Were I to talk as you do, it would have no effect whatever." But as the same threat was read in several churches in the neighbourhood at the same time, it is evident that the tale of the revelation from Heaven emanated from a higher quarter, and was promulgated "by authority." The popes, grossly ignorant as they are, become the ready instruments of those placed above them, and, in their turn, exercise great influence on all the followers of their creed. In political matters, they are powerful allies ; so implicit is the obedience exacted and rendered. Like the village priest in Ireland, the popes here determine the attitude a community is to take, or on what side votes are to be given they are the leaders for evil as -well as for good. And here, too, as in the Sister Island, where blind obedience is not yielded, the offender is denounced, and he and his children are threatened with a curse.*22_9 These men, therefore, if they understood their duties better, might do much to prevent incendiarism and the wanton destruction of the forests. Cattle-stealing, too, would be less frequent than it is.-f-j-22_10

22_8* It must be acknowledged, however, that a belief in witchcraft was prevalent in Transylvania until very lately. "The lower class among the Hungarians will not give it up easily. Not long ago, a Szekler woman in Ungrisch Kreutz wanted to proceed against another woman for having bewitched her. Among the Saxons also, old Wallack women are sometimes accused of witchcraft." (Friedrich Müller, `Beiträge zur Geschichte des Hexenglaubens and des Hexenprocesses in Siebenbürgen.')

22_9* "Not only you, but your children will be cursed, if you vote for tho Count;"-words of the pope at B-, to those who voted at the elections for a well-known Hungarian nobleman, a man of great ability. Those who did so were interdicted from entering the church.

22_10-j-t I once asked a Saxon clergyman, who knew thoroughly both the people of his own and the Wallack nations, if the stolen cattle " were taken generally by Wallacks ? "-" Not generally," was the answer ; "always, I may say."

It is the true interest of any government that its subjects should be enlightened; and that the darkness of those who have so much influence should receive some illumination, is specially important; for the power of the popes to raise their co-religionists to a higher state is far from insignificant, and the Government would do well to use its influence in having fitter men appointed as spiritual teachers. A few thousand florins annually set aside as a dotation for the Greek Church, would be well employed, and would bear good interest.*22_11 If decently paid, a better class of men could justly be claimed for the priestly office; and there would be an end of such sights as a pope toiling for fivepence a day, with other labourers, as a navvy.

22_11* Lately, I believe, a small sum has been devoted to this purpose, but it is too little to be of any utility.

The priests of the Greek Church are chosen by the parishioners, and presented to the bishop to be ordained. As it is rare that a commune has glebe-land belonging to it, or a fund out of which the pope is paid, his salary consists of burial, christening, and other fees, and the free gifts of the parishioners. Being so small, it is therefore often necessary to choose for ordination some individual of the parish who has land or income of his own, in order to be able to live. The bishop, who resides at Hermannstadt, is named by the Emperor, and receives, be- sides 4000 florins a year, the ordination fees for the whole land. The arclipriests are very superior to the ordinary priests ; they are men of a certain education. The " Unirte" Latin Church is richly endowed by the State; and the popes or priests are supported by the proceeds of the land belonging to each living, by church fees, and gifts in labour and produce on the part of the parishioners. The archbishop, whose jurisdiction extends over a part of Hungary and the Banat, has his seat at Blasendorf. I have been told that, in some places, the priests do not well know if they are " Unirt" or not.

From all you hear of these churches, especially of the Oriental one, and at every step throughout the land, you may add to your stock of unfavourable experience ; it is clear that the degeneracy is as great as it is possible to be: open corruption and bribery*22_12 in high places; ignorance, superstition, licentiousness, insubordination in the lower ones. At a place where I was, the discharged priest had still continued to marry couples, and, as church or altar, selected a tree,-I passed the thick pollard on my road,-which thus obtained the name of the "marrying tree." The same man once came to the Protestant clergyman to ask him for "paper that was written on;" and, accordingly, the pastor gave him some of his daughter's old copy-books. Not long after, strips cut out of these books were shown him, as being "marriage certificates," which the pope, not being able to write himself, had given to the happy couples he had joined in matrimony.

On one occasion, the pope of the village came to ask if he might vote for the whole of the constituency, the people being busy, and it having been decided how they all were to vote. An excellent feature in the Wallack character is, that several families live in perfect harmony together under one roof; there is no wrangling or jealousy. Among the Saxons the contrary is the case.

22_12* As it is notorious that the Church dignitaries give and accept bribes, there is no indelicacy in stating it here. Every one knows it, and it is spoken of openly.

In the village where I was, one-third of the population (1140 souls) was Wallack. Formerly there were but five Wallack hovels, on the outskirts of the commune, where only they were allowed to settle.*22_13

Friday is everywhere regarded with disfavour, but in Transylvania Tuesday also is looked upon by the Wallacks as unpropitious for certain employments ; they would not, for example, begin to spin on either of these days, or bake bread or steep in lye the linen to be washed. In Neudorf, near Schässburg, there is a prevalent superstition that on New Year's night-at midnight-the cattle speak, but in a language which man may not hear ; if he do, he dies.

On paying a visit to a Saxon household, I saw again one of the many child-brides. She was just fifteen, and had been married the day before; at the friendly clergyman's request, she had donned for me all her bridal finery.

22_13* Their original slates among the other inhabitants is shown by the communal laws existing in certain Saxon villages,-in Scharoseh, for instance,- forbidding the people to go to Wallack weddings, or to dance at such with any of the Wallack population, under penalty of one pound of beeswax.

Passing a house in the village, I observed a number of pieces of wood, two or three feet long, leaning against the wall, and all numbered. These, as I learned, were the contributions-payment in kind-of the villagee children for the schoolmaster. Every child was bound to bring, towards his supply of fuel, so many pieces at stated times; and, in order to control the delivery, the house-number of the giver was put upon each. The master did not trouble himself with the matter; two of the bigger boys saw if all was right, wrote the numbers in a book, and the children, after school, then carried the wood they had brought their teacher into his woodshed or storehouse.

In the Protestant church-porch, was hung up by an iron chain, a round stone, as large as a cannon ball. Formerly, a girl who had lost her innocence was obliged to sit at the church door for a certain number of Sundays, with this stone round her neck; and, only after having thus expiated her fault, was she allowed again to enter the sacred edifice.*22_14

22_14* This reminds of the arrangement in the ancient basilicas. In the narthex or colonnade next to the church, which took the place of the original etrizon, those persons stood who were penitents, or who were not yet permitted to enter the church itself. See Fergusson, `Handbook of Architecture.'

MANSION AT GERNYESZEG.
"MANSION AT GERNYESZEG."



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