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CHAPTER XXXVI.

SKETCHES OF POLITICAL CHARACTER-Continued.

II. WEAKNESS AND STRENGTH.

WHILE speaking of such matters, I must allude to something which, in the present state of affairs, seems to me rather detrimental to Hungarian interests than otherwise. I had hardly entered the country, when, on talking with different Hungarian gentlemen, I was much struck by the perfect similarity, not of their opinions only, but of their very expressions when discussing or explaining to me certain political questions. There was no variation on this or that point; there was coincidence throughout. At last, whenever I met a new acquaintance, I always knew, beforehand, what would be said on certain topics, and my conjecture was invariably correct.

Now, though it is good for a political party to pull together, I think it possible that too little freedom of action may be allowed in its ranks. In politics, the Hungarians order matters and carry out their plans with strict precision. When a mode of action' has been decided on, it is implicitly followed ; what the leaders have determined, that all do. No difference of opinion is allowed, and with most self-denying obedience, each one subordi nates his own individual will to that of another, who is higher.

Thus, if an uncompromising resolution is come to, no due ever thinks of proposing a step which would meet the opponent halfway, and lead perhaps to mutual concession and understanding. The discipline is too strict for that; but while confusion and schism are prevented by such cession of personal feeling to the requirements of united action, there is, on the other hand, this decided drawback : of the change which time and circumstances work, no account is taken. Different persons see things in different lights, and here and there a voice would make itself heard, proposing a less rigid bearing, less uncompromising demands; but the fear of being stamped as a renegade keeps men silent. It is the same terrorizing system as characterized the acts of the Inquisition ; whoever disagreed with that body was denounced as a heretic. "Many of us," said a well-known nobleman to me, " acted with a moral weakness. Afraid of being suspected by their party, they acted too strongly and directly in opposition to Austria." And, on another occasion, the same gentleman told me that many would be inclined to propose conciliatory measures, but do not, for fear of unjust suspicions.

In the management of an army, the subordination of every member to one directing head is absolutely necessary, for here we have a certain amount of physical force to be directed towards the accomplishment of a distinctly defined end. Now the wheels of this great living machine must move together, for if one goes in a contrary direction to the rest, the whole mechanism stops : but a party is not an army ; we have here to do with mental, not physical power. The end in view-far from being definitely marked out by boundary lines, which admit of no change-is modified continually by endlessly varying circumstances. Besides, the aim of an army is, by united action, to overthrow or destroy the opponent, and that too by brute force ; the aim of a party is to come to an understanding with another party, by means of argument and an interchange of views, both still continuing to exist together. Nor does an army fight for itself, and its own individual interests ; but in a party, each individual is defending a cause in which he takes a personal interest, and for whose support he has freely enlisted. Here, therefore, it is not the views of one or two leaders which should be decisive, but it is the voices from the ranks that we want and ought to hear; and this, the policy of the Hungarian makes im possible. The good derived from it hitherto, I am unable to discover; while a less rigid system would, I think, have been attended with happier results.

Intellectual culture among the Hungarians is, it would seem from all I learned, not of so high an order now as formerly. Many circumstances combine to afford an ex planation of the change.

In other times the Hungarian nobleman appeared in the public assembly to discuss the affairs of his country ; and, in order to do so successfully, he was obliged to bring with him a certain amount of judicial and other knowledge ; but these meetings of the nobles, these discussions of the House of Lords, have ceased, and in the public affairs, in the administration of Government, whether as civil officer or otherwise, the Hungarian of to-day takes no part : thus the incentive to study, and the necessity for it, are both greatly diminished. Formerly, too, the Latin tongue was the medium of connection between Hungary and the intellectual world beyond its frontier the author wrote, as the statesman spoke, in Latin ; and as the learned men of Europe published their works in the same language, the science and philosophy of the Continent was accessible to them ; and what the Hungarian wrote was read also in Italy, Germany, and France ; and so this Latin, which to the Magyar was almost like his mother-tongue, kept him in contact with the culture of the West. He now cultivates his own language, and as this is seldom studied by the foreigner, that interchange of thought has in a great measure ceased, which to a certain degree once existed between Hungary and the rest of Europe. The literature which is most accessible, being` nearest to them, is that of Germany; but though the educated all speak German, the want of sympathy with everything that bears that name, prevents their profiting from it as they might do.

In Klausenburg, was formerly a sort of law college (Rechts Schule), where lectures were held in the Hungarian language; here the young men of family invariably came to study. This, at least, was good mental discipline ; but there was another advantage arising from this institution,-the Saxon youth came here to learn Hungarian, and as most of them had small means, they added to their income by giving lessons in the families of the nobi- lity. These young men were well informed; they spread around them a knowledge of, and fostered a taste for German literature, philosophy, and science; and, by this communion of the two nations, a better acquaintance was formed, and an understanding and juster appreciation of each other's qualities were obtained.

The present generation has grown up amid the excitement of a great national struggle. Many a youth joined the ranks of the volunteers, when-had the times been quieter-he would have been at work in school. When all was over, it was hardly to be expected that the young soldier would sit down to learn and endeavour by persevering study, to make up for lost time ; he had, too, in the field acquired a taste for ruder pleasures, for a more restless life. All conspires therefore to make his education an imperfect one.

The greater number of the nobles are so reduced in fortune, that it is difficult for them to afford their children the instruction and opportunities they would wish. Ready money is what hardly anybody possesses; yet the tutor, governess, and masters must be paid in cash. The expense of a sojourn at a foreign university, as well as the journey thither, is greatly increased by the high rate of agio. What, therefore, is a parent to do, who, though his granaries be full, can hardly get together enough money to pay the taxes ?

Not only from a political point of view, but on account of an interchange of thought, it is most regrettable that the plungarian holds himself aloof from the Saxon. For among the latter are men of considerable acquirements, and who, their language being the same, follow, as we have seen, with loving interest, the progress of know- ledge in Germany. They have, accordingly, what the Hungarians have not,-a vast national storehouse, as it were, which is ever being replenished, and whence they can always draw fresh supplies of intellectual culture.

And even were the mental cultivation of the Saxons less than it really is, it would be an advantage to the Hungarian to mix with men with different opinions, and listen to other arguments than his own, which, as lie shuns opponents, and associates only with friends, he has never contested. Now, thus to always listen to ourselves, and those who the effect of narrowing our view, and we move at last in a circle beyond whose boundary we neither step nor look. I cannot help say ing that this has struck me as being the case in my conversations with many most estimable Hungarians on political questions. The same topics are always handled, and always in the same way ; yet it would seem possible that different minds, even while adhering to the same fundamental principles, might discover some new point of view, each grappling the subject according to his own individuality.

And it is this which I have missed in all the conversations in question. The reason for a parity of political opinion I have already accounted for. But this limit which is set to the range of argument among the Hungarians, has its origin in the habit of their associating only, and continually talking over these matters, with persons whose views are the same as their own. No new idea is elicited, for as all agree on the question, there is no necessity for endeavouring to illume it anew.

Thus, the modifying influence of opposing views never reaches them : they do not undergo that social collision with others, which, after all, is so essential in enabling us to get rid of prejudice, to come to just conclusions, and to form a fair estimate of our opponents and their acts.

Such contact, I say, is here wholly wanting. From all not of their party and their opinion, Hungarians keep aloof; they neither associate with them in public nor in private life.*36_1 In this respect they resemble the people of Israel, who, even in their days of adversity, kept themselves completely apart from all who were not of the elect.

36_1* Inasmuch, However, as they are apt to attribute unworthy motives to an opponent, md.set him down as a rascal, they perhaps could hardly do otherrwise.

And what, we may imagine, are the results of this systematic isolation ? Inveterate prejudice, inaccurate conclusions, and a most unfair estimate of all and each differing from them in principle or in aim.

Exclusiveness, too, inevitably begets excessive selfappreciation ; and this is the besetting sin of the Hungarian. It was so of the Jews, and would alone have led to their undoing.

In all questions touching only on nationality, this sentiment shows itself in towering strength. It is with something of the feeling of the noble for the plebeian that the Hungarian looks down on others not of the Magyar race. His contempt of the German is nearly as great as his hate ; and yet, but for him, Hungary to-day were under a Turkish Hospodar.*36_2

This pride alone, irrespective of other causes, would make negotiation between Hungary and Vienna peculiarly difficult; for the Hungarian not only does not recognize Austrian authority, he neither allows that the Government and himself are on an equal footing. He, simply as Hungarian, has a higher position; and if he does not make this a preliminary, put into words, he shows, by his whole bearing, that it is the ground he takes,-by the imperiousness of his demands, by the haughty rejection of all proposals for concession. The very notion that lie should concede in anything, were the injustice of the demand not so monstrous, would seem to him simply ridiculous ; he dictates to authority what he will have done, which is, according to his view, in the acknowledged order of things, or rather a consequence founded on an acknowledged natural law. In every negotiation with the Government, when he condescends to take such a step, he always starts from one point, viz. that it is an indubitable truth he is perfectly in the right, and the Government utterly in the wrong : that it is the Government, therefore, which has to come and sue.

36_2* In 16S6, Ofen was taken from the Turks by Charles of Lothringen.

Every one will understand how, with such premisses, obstacles must arise at the very outset, making arrange- ment impossible. Indeed, "negotiation" is not the right word to use; for nothing of the sort does, or, under such circumstances, can take place. It is simply dictation in another form, on the part of Hungary, to the Imperial Government, as a conqueror, after a signal victory, would dictate to the vanquished.

Another peculiarity struck me. In every explanation given on political questions, it is invariably as a perfectly innocent victim that the Hungarian appears ; not a shade of wrong appertains to him, nor is he answerable for one of his misfortunes. All is the work of others : he is merely the sufferer-the Ur-leidende, to use a German compound-a sort of modern Prometheus, whose gigantic unmerited suffering appeals, not in silence, but loudly to humanity and Heaven. Lord Byron loved to parade his misery, till every healthy-minded person was quite sick of hearing of it; so, too, the Hungarian glories in an occasion to show that he has been wronged.

Now, whatever cause of complaint the Hungarians may at present have, it is, after all, not so pre-eminently su- perior to any that their co-citizens could prefer. Burdens weigh on others as well as on them; others suffer equally from abuses and mismanagement, and it is not they only to whom relief comes tardily. They, perhaps, do not deny this; but as to others, that, they say, is quite a different thing. " We are Magyars." That at once changes every question. A deficient or oppressive law, directly it reaches diem, increases in imperfection ten-thousandfold. Another, they would simply find bad; but should it, however remotely, affect themselves or their nationality, it is then not only bad, but becomes a crime,-an act which no reasoning can ever justify.*36_3

These views, unreasonable and illogical as they are, result from past times ; for much as the Hungarian loved freedom (for himself), he would fain have with it all the prestiges and privileges belonging to a feudal aristocracy. No one sets more value on prerogative than he;t-j-36_4 all his laws were founded on it. Hence he was monarchical; for in Hungary, royalty was nothing else but a monopoly kept up for the benefit of the nobles.

Owing to his excessive party-feeling, the Hungarian exhibits exactly the same fault which he attributes to his rulers-a dislike to hear the truth. Princes usually hear just what they wish to hear; with the Hungarian, inasmuch as he is able to manage it, it is the same. In the one case, the unpleasant truths are kept back by the obsequious courtier; in the other, the Hungarian himself excludes all and every opinion that could be distasteful, because varying from his own; whatever might " help to work off the dregs of false opinion," he keeps far from him. There are two passions which I think the Hungarians carry to excess, in their relations with Austria,-rresent- ment and distrust. None are, politically, more uncliaritable than they : in looking at an antagonist, they only see deformity ; and this leads me to speak of a habit greatly to be regretted,-of attributing to opponents the most unworthy motives; marking them, by this means, with a moral brand.

36_3 * In the discourse of the Hungarians about themselves and their nationality, there is not the remotest approach to anything like logical reasoning. A friend was abusing the Government for the bad arrangements made for enfranchising the land. " But," said I, " it was Kossnth did that, not the Government."" Yes," was the answer, " but later, no doubt, some plan would have been devised for ordering things better, and to make the burdens easier to bear,"-thus accusing Government not only for what it did not do, but for the non-execution of an arrangement which the opposite party might rronusw have carried out.

36_4-j-t With the Hungarians, it is not so much liberal principles that they care about, as autonomy.

In the so-called "good old times" in England, to which many of us, I opine, must now look back with shame and wonderment, this was done during the fury of an election ; but even then, the temporary struggle over, the calumnies put forth were dropped, and were forgotten. Reprobatory as the system was, every one knew it was but a momentary party manwuvre. But it is not so here : the bad character once given to an opponent-and every one is stamped as bad-is persisted in, and upheld ever after. When you hear the leading men of the other party mentioned, it would seem as if all that was worthless had united to array itself against Hungary.

Now, we too have our political differences, and strong party-feeling exists with us also; but the fiercest opposers of Cobden or Peel or Disraeli, never said these men were rogues ; nor, when the Reform Bill was carried, or that for Catholic Emancipation, did one side say that the leaders on the other had been bribed. But here it is so; and not to march with the Hungarians is, in their eyes, proof sufficient of rascality. How unjust they - are in this respect, carried away by the heat of passion, I have more than once discovered. I have purposely become acquainted with men whom they have thus spoken of, and from the most various sources obtained information about them ; but I cannot say that what I thus learned bore out their assertions.

As the lion is said to lash his flanks with his tail to rouse him to the attack, so the Hungarian is always goading himself on by brooding over and recapitulating his wrongs; and not only those of to-day, but of the past as well. No one denies that he has been wronged, or asserts that Austria is blameless. Ireland, too, was ill-treated, sorely and long enough ; but that is no ground for still imputing to the English Government, in all its acts towards the sister island, the worst, most wicked intentions. For everything unfavourable that happens, or has happened to them, the Hungarians make Government answerable. It is, of course, gratifying to our self-love to be told, and to tell ourselves, that not we, but somebody else, is to blame for what we suffer ; and, accordingly, they have a dogma to which they cling as though salvation depended upon it, viz. that Government desires to ruin them financially,-in short, to destroy them,-and accordingly plans everything for this particular end. The absurdity of such a scheme is not perceived; but in every enactment, no matter what it be, the Hungarian discovers a plan, direct or indirect, for doing kite some harm.*36_5

36_5* It is curious how information is sometimes obtained, unsought and unexpectedly. In talking with subordinate persons, Germans and Hun- garians, who had fought in the revolution, as each related his adventures and experience, I learned much that threw light on the events of that time. One individual, as lie told me of his harassing marchings and countermarchings, his privations and hardships, said : " In the beginning, orders were continually coming from Government, ' Nur pacificiren ! nur pacificiren ! Nicht streng seyn,' "-" Pacify, pacify, only pacify ! don't use severity." Yet the Hungarians assert that Austria wished to push matters to extremities by her uncompromising mien. Now I happen also to have learned, that the state of the army at that time was such as to explain why the Government did just the contrary, and anxiously desired pacification. Clergymen, who then were young professors, and with the army, have told me that the troops were barefoot, the artillery horses had all sorts of harness, with Wallacks now, and now with gipsies, as drivers. Sometimes they had only oxen to drag the guns along. The commissariat was execrable, and cheating going on in every department ; the captains and nonconunissioned officers were excellent, but the generals and staff-officers utterly inefficient. The Italian campaign showed the truth of these assertions.

And yet, as will be seen later, the extra tax levied to pay the debt incurred by the commutation of feudal rights, etc., is as high as it is, because the Hungarian landowners received so much as indemnity,-because in their case the most favourable calculations were made. The sums received by several in commutation were higher than the purchase-money of the estate, and thus some may be said to have their estates for nothing. (See the official Registers-Grund-Entlastung Bücher-at Hermannstadt.) But as the possessors were often deeply in debt, which was not the fault of Government, the personal benefit was not as great as it would otherwise have been. How different the reckoning made in their case from that when the Saxon clergy had their tithes commuted ! (See Chapter XVIII.)

The Saxon, too, who had no rights to commute,-as on Saxon ground serfdom might not exist, pays of course his quota, like the rest, to liquidate this debt, incurred by Government; for it is not possible to make exceptions, and exempt those who derived no benefit from the incasure. Government also decreed that tIyose Hungarians, who were indebted to any public office, might pay in Government securities, which were to be taken at par; whilst others who offered them had them accepted only at the lower value, as quoted on the Stock Exchange : thus the Government did in reality assist them as much as was in its power. If the case were reversed, and it were the Hungarians who had to pay for a benefit in which they had no share, there would be no end to the lamentation, and the appeals against such unparalleled injustice.*36_6

36_6* The memory of the Hungarian fails him only when an exception has been made in his favour. During the revolutionary war, a contribution of 30,000fl. was levied on Klausenburg by the Austrian general. Later, this sine was restored by Government ; but I never heard any Hungarian mention the fact. Hermannstadt was forced by Bern to pay 50,000fl., but the Govermnent never thought of lightening the burden that town had incurred by its fidelity. Yet if, in his relations with Austria, the Hungarian's memory is retentive for those occurrences onl, which tell against the Government, the case is very different with others who have sho%~n him kindness or sympathy. I had once occasion to order something to be made for me, and, when finished, to pay for it but my Hungarian acquaintance would not hear of remuneration; and then he told me, that once, when on a journey, he had met an Englishman, who had shown him the kindest attention, and while at Paris had aided him in various ways. This, he said, he would never forget ; and he always sought, and hoped to find, an opportunity of making return for those friendly offices, and to be able to do for an Englishman what his chance acquaintance had done for him. What sincere, intent satisfaction it gave him to be able to do something for me, was evident; I have not often soon the remembrance of a service cherished so lovingly.

What I saw and heard in Transylvania, continually reminded me of Ireland under O'Connell rule. As the Agitator diligently cherished detestation of the " Sassenach," so here, by every means, hatred towards Austria is sustained. Each measure of the English Government for Ireland, whether good or imperfect, was alike denounced ; and when it was impossible to prove the unfitness, or the monstrous injustice of the new enactment, it was then asserted that some stealthy device for wronging Ireland lurked behind unseen. It is exactly the same in 'fransylvania now : even as regards the rallying-cry, there is resemblance, " Ireland for the Irish ! " " Hungary for the Hungarians !" Under Irish rule, it was said Ireland would grow wealthy, quiet, and happy ; were the hated Sassenach but away, there would be industry and order in the land. Yet we all know what was the state of Ireland when she had a parliament of her own, and what that parliament was worth. Without England we know, too, what Ireland would become.

The condition of Hungary, when the nation had their own native kings, is also a matter of history; and I do not think the picteru we have of it is such as to justify us in looking on it as a state to which sensible men of the nineteenth century would willingly return.

I am not aware, that by enforcing national hatred from the tribune and the altar, Ireland. has been in any way benefited, or her people made happier. The ferment has ceased now; and men living together in kindly fellowship rather wonder, I believe, that they could so recently have had the folly to regard each other as mortal foes.

The Hungarians are, undoubtedly, perfectly justified in resolutely demanding fair laws, equal rights, and in striving to obtain all the advantages of constitutional government. Nor are they less so in holding up to view the imperfections of the executive, and in pointing to the many faults of its administration; in doing this, however, they give way to an impulse which does not seem to mo to be manly ; on the contrary, it is more in accordance with the tactics often followed by the other sex. They pick out single detached instances, collect all imaginable circumstances which could tend to prove mal-legislation, or abuse, or the infliction of a wrong, and rear them on high as a banner round which to rally. On every act the most unfavourable construction is put;*36_7 but as the great thing is to seize on every opportunity for making out a fresh grievance, such construction is unavoidable. In family life, it is a similar mode of conduct which causes such bickerings, and destroys household peace. In its effect it is like that of a poison absorbed into the physical system, and which, by laming certain functions, unfits them for healthy action. Now, it imparts a jaundiced colouring to objects viewed, and falsifies appearances; now, the virus acting on the mind with a morbid influence, horrid bugbears-the more horrid the better- are hugged and doted on, and cherished as truth : thus every view taken is more or less diseased.*36_8

36_7* The comparison is, I know, a trivial one, and for this reason I hesitate to make it ; but I own this constant enumeration of every collateral petty circumstance, this twisting and turning each thing into a grievance, reminded me always of Mrs. Caudle.

Thus I have often, with regret, observed how the Hungarians will raise to undue importance incidents which occur all the world over, and speak of them as acts of treachery specially directed against themselves,-as proofs of what black acts Austria is capable of perpetrating. For example, it was one of their chief grievances, that at the elections, bribery, direct and indirect, was employed. I have no doubt that it was so; but they forget that such things happen also out of Austria. Even in our constitutional state, which the Hungarians look to as a pattern, bribery has sometimes been heard of, and is practised on such occasions, so people say, even by the Government candidate.

Amusingly enough, the very gentleman who related, with indignation, this vile conduct on the part of the Go- vermnent, gave me an instance of the unreliability of the Wallacks. The Hungarian party wanted to bring in their man. " Day after day "-I give my friend's own words,-" we told him (a Wallachian voter) the name he was to say, and paid him brandy enough beside; yet, when the day of election came, so stupid was he, that he did not know it."

"All the law-officers are open to bribery," said to me one day, with disgust at such practices. He was, he told me, also obliged to employ that means, when he wanted a suit proceeded with quickly : " It is not done by me direct, but through my lawyer."

36_8* In ' The Invasion of the Crimea,' in that succinct account of the " Transactions which brought on the War," Kinglake, with his usual graphic power, describes a parallel state. The Czar's hatred of Lord Redclife was so intense, his fancies about his influence " were so maddening," that lie was literally blinded by his wrath.

Neither of my informants saw, in his own case, the least harm in bribing the voter or the judge ; yet, a like act emanating from a Government authority would be held up to universal execration. Neither remembered, or chose to remember, that longing for victory, and the adoption of underhand methods to ensure it, are not characteristics of Austria alone ; and that the wish to carry the day in an election or a debate, is no specially Hapsburg frailty, but exist as much at Westminster as in the Reichsrath,-everywhere, in short, where human nature is found, whether at Pesth or Paris, in Potsdam or Peru.

I have pointed to these things, because no well-wisher to the Hungarians can observe them without regret. The system they adopt, makes the duties of their rulers all the more difficult, and has retarded, and does still retard, the very changes they require ; it throws obstacles in the way of obtaining the advantages, whose non-possession they make the great cause of their complaints. It is the same in social life; for those whose temper is difficult, their best friends even can do little ; yet, strangely enough, it almost always happens that such individuals whose intractability or dogmatism keeps them sundered from others, possess, besides, pre-eminently excellent qualities which all acknowledge. These are the men of whom people say, " They are themselves their greatest enemies;" for their own sake, therefore, I could wish the Hungarians would proceed differently in their political tactics, and in a different spirit.*36_9

36_9* In no way do the Hungarians more injure themselves, and act against their own interests, than by abstaining from all share in the government, and in declining to hold any office ; for, by their refusal, men are placed in authority who are unfit for it. Yet while the Hungarians suffer by the want of trust and incompetency of such officers, they chuckle at the abuses and the imperfections to which their nomination leads ; they are so many faults more to add to the already numerous subjects of complaint. I was told the following by a Hungarian to whom I owe much information :-A man wanting a loan, went to the Vienna Bank to obtain a certain sum, as mortgage on his estate ; and, that the authorities might know its extent and worth, he took with him a paper signed by the first officer (Government officer) of the county or eomitat. " I beg your pardon, but with that signature I don't give you a penny," said the authority at the bank. The man went to the Chancellor, Count Yadasdy, to complain ; his answer was, " I can't help it, I can't get officers." My friend, who told me the story, did not perceive that it was he and his party who were the cause of this.

If I have not dwelt on the deficiencies of Government, it is not because I am blind to them, or wish they should be concealed; but these the enemies of Austria have put forward so often, there is nothing left for me to say. Moreover, the greater or less amount of fault on the other side has nothing to do with the system here spoken of. Were the Government ten times worse than it is, that system would be an unwise one, inasmuch as it compasses nothing useful, and defeats its own ends ; neither does reproach for past errors aid conciliation, and it is this which is more wanted than all beside. At present even, it would effect more than the most admirable laws ; for without the one, the others would be promulgated in vain.

What, to my mind at least, are faults on the part of the Hungarians, have not been, as it would seem, so gene- rally perceived. Had I remained a shorter time than I did among them, they would probably have escaped my notice also ; for at first, I own, I saw things as they presented them to me. Indeed, the whole manner of the Hungarian is so prepossessing, that he at once wins you as a partisan : he appeals to your feelings with such natural eloquence; he touches, so irresistibly, chords which, as they vibrate, find an echo in every Englishman's heart, and sets forth his wrongs, suffered for love of country and freedom and constitutional government, so glowingly, that you are dazzled, moved, delighted, and enthralled. But if you are calm, and not given to sentimentality, and take the time and trouble to weigh and to compare statements, you will find that all is not quite as you first thought. You discover a flaw, where you were led to believe there was no discrepancy, and faults oT omission and commission appear on both sides, though at first you believed they all were only on one. By yielding to first impressions, (and, indeed, you cannot help yielding to them, but the thing is to verify and correct afterwards,) strangers who have come in contact with the Hungarians, have flattered their vanity, and thus sustained and strengthened them in their greatest fault.

No one, I think, who has accompanied me through this book, can doubt of the many admirable qualities which the Hungarians possess. But in social and in political life these show differently, owing, in one case, to the observance, and in the other to the want of measure ; and hence we see how firm resolve may become stubbornness; how he who, in his daily relations, never forgets that "noblesse oblige," may, as political adversary, be overbearing; how self-respect and national pride may degenerate into vanity. For as certain plants that keep on expanding, removing always further and further from their source of growth, at last change their character, so just the noblest quality, cherished in excess, merges imperceptibly into its opposite; and that becomes a weakness which before was strength.

It was necessary to say all this, in order to show the real state of things, and to explain some that otherwise might be judged falsely. My words, I fear, will give offence to many who will now be less kindly disposed to- wards me than before ; but, by stating only half the truth, false appearance would be enabled to wear its semblance, and still go deceiving. And this is always an evil, and what no man, in any case, should lend his aid to do.




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